Banoffee Pie Recipe

Banoffee Pie Recipe

Italian banoffee pie recipe

Italian Banoffee Pie

There are few desserts as simple as making a banoffee pie and few that get the sounds of pure delight than this recipe. It’s of Italian origin I am told and although I love Italian food, have not had so many great desserts out of Italy so far.

You may have had one from woolies or a home industry but there is nothing like a home made banoffee and as we know, the act of making it transfers the love for the people you are making it and will taste so much better. It’s banana, cream, caramel and a beautiful crunchy base, you just have to try it, you will love it. This pie should serve about 8 people, it’s rich and seriously delicious. Use a 22cm pie dish.

What you need

120g butter
1/2 packet tennis biscuits
1/2 packey Marie bisuits (you can use a packet of tennis biscuits on their own)
1 tin caramel (carnation or clover make a great caramel)
3 or 4 bananas sliced about 5mm thick
250ml fresh whipping cream (be careful when you buy cream these days, there are so many varieties and some just do not whip)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

The process

First off, take your biscuits and break them into a shopping bag, then place the shopping bag on the counter and with a rolling pin or wine bottle crush them into a fine powder. Now melt the butter in a medium size pot and add the biscuits, remove from the heat and mix the biscuit and butter mixture until all of the biscuit is evenly coated with butter.

Spoon into the pie dish about three quarters of the mixture and using a spoon spread it evenly and quite firmly over the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Try not to make the base thicker than about 3mm and press it down firmly. Using your finger tips, press the rest of the biscuit mixture into the sides of the dish closing up any holes.

Pop it into the fridge for about half an hour while you have a cuppa or a glass of wine and prepare the cream and bananas.

Slice the bananas into thin slices and set aside. Add the cream to a large bowl, add the vanilla and whip to a thick consistency.

Take your base from the fridge and place your banana slices on the bottom, then cover with the caramel using a spatula/spoon to spread evenly. Cover with the cream and give it a sprinkle with cocoa or grated chocolate or a few more banana slices, whatever you fancy really. (you can also mix the banana’s and the caramel together and then into the base)

Serve and watch the magic!!!

Kingklip Mornay

Kingklip Mornay

kingklip recipe

Kingklip Mornay

I think this fish dish is made for mothers day, It’s very tasty, easy to make and basically flop proof. It offers a hearty, warming flavour that can only be had from being home made and let’s face it, Mom’s, however old we get still love anything that we have made ourselves, the only difference from when we were little is that your Mom will REALLY enjoy this one and not just say so! Gotta Love the Mom’s for all they have put up with! (this is for 4 servings)

What you need

4 x 150g kingklip fillets (you can use hake or any white fish)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon English mustard (Any mustard really)
300ml milk
About a cup of grated cheddar (mature cheddar is best)
Salt and Pepper

The process

Heat your oven to 200 Celsius and in a baking dish place your four fillets, evenly spaced on the bottom. Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside, ready for the sauce.

In a pan on a medium heat, add the butter and allow it to melt, add the flour and stir to make a paste, now add the mustard and stir to combine. Keep stirring for about 2 or 3 minutes to cook the flour.

While stirring, add the milk in a thin stream and keep stirring until all of the milk has been added and the sauce is thickening up beautifully.

Remove from the heat and take about 2 thirds of the cheese, stir it into the sauce and then pour over the fish. Top it off with the remaining cheese, give it another grind of pepper and then pop it into the over for 15-20 minutes.

To test that your fish is done, take a knife and pull the flesh to one side, if a flake pulls off you are done.

I like to then put the grill on and give it a brown on top but is not necessary.

Serve it to Mom with baby boiled potatoes tossed in butter and parsley, some roast cherry tomatoes and broccoli or with a salad.

Tortellini with creamy pea and ham sauce

Tortellini with creamy pea and ham sauce

totrtellini recipe with pea and ham

Tortellini with pea and ham sauce

Tortellini is a really easy way to make a delicious meal with very little effort and this pea and ham sauce with some good tortellini is a real winner. You can choose your favourite tortellini fillings like spinach and ricotta, butternut or a meat filling, either way you are going to love it. It’s certainly not for dieters but so delicious even if you are dieting and you allow yourself a treat, this would be it. (serves 4 people easily)

What you need

500g of your favourite tortellini
4-6 slices ham chopped up
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 cup frozen peas
200ml double cream
Grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil

The process

Pop your tortellini in a pot of rapidly boiling water that has been generously salted and cook as per instructions on the pack. (I must say that the Woolies fresh tortellini is fantastic and cooks very quickly).

While thats going on, heat a pan on low heat, add a little olive oil and cook your garlic for about a minute until it is sizzling but not brown. Add the peas, ham and then the cream, season with a grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt.

Bring the sauce to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute. This cooks the peas and brings all of the flavours together.

Remove from the heat, toss in the tortellini and gently mix it in using a folding movement. (You want to be really careful here so that you do not break the tortellini) If you are a good flipper of the pan, flip the tortellini around until every piece is coated in the sauce.

Serve immediately with a generous amount of Parmesan. Serve with a salad and a few sliced of toasted ciabatta rubbed with a garlic clove.

Bacon wrapped Chili poppers

Bacon wrapped Chili poppers

bacon wrapped chili poppers

Chill Poppers in Bacon

Man these little beauties are a real treat that you can make in the oven or on the braai. I must warn you that this recipe only makes 12 and from experience, you will need more than 2 or 3 per person as a taster. When you buy your chili poppers buy the longer ones unless you like them really spicy, I like them not too spicy so buy the ones that are at least 7 or 8cm long.

What you need

12 Jalapeno Chilis
250g Cream cheese
1/2 cup grated strong cheddar cheese
1 packet streaky bacon

The process

First off wash your jalapeno’s and then dry them. Take a sharp knife and cut off the stalk. Then roll them between your palms to loosen the seeds which will start falling out as you roll.

If you have a cocktail spoon this is the perfect implement to clean out any remaining seeds, otherwise just rinse them under running water as you roll out the last few seeds. You could also split them and clean them out that way but I like to keep the whole pod intact.

Set them aside and in a bowl mix together the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, add a touch of salt and a grind of pepper.

Now fill each Jalapeno with as much of the cream cheese mixture as possible. It’s messy work but make sure they are crammed full.

Now take a piece of bacon and start by wrapping the end closed and then winding around the rest of the Jalapeno.

Thats it, once they are done, pop them on the grill and cook until the bacon is cooked and the cheese oozing out. If you are doing them in the oven, pop them on a baking tray and grill, turning from time to time until bacon is cooked.

Serve them as is straight from the oven with a little french loaf to grab the oozing cream cheese.

Have fun with these, they are fantastic.

Winter recipes

Winter recipes

Winter is such a great time to stay in and create some of those recipes that fill your home with mouth watering smells so I have put together a few ideas for you.

Winter Meat Recipes

Stews and bredies are must do meals for winter and the lasagna is another of those proper comfort foods that hits the mark every time. These are just a few of my favourites, so be sure to browse around in the Beef recipes, Lamb recipes or the Meat recipes as a whole, you may just find exactly what you feel like tonight.

Meat Lasagna

Easy Lamb Casserole

Tomato Bredie recipe

Lamb cottage pie

Winter Chicken recipes

I can never get enough of a good chicken curry in the winter and if you have not tried the chicken broccoli bake yet, you must give it a go. Take a look at the rest of the chicken recipes as well, there are a few real winners in there.

Chicken Curry

Chicken potato Cakes

Chicken Broccoli Bake

Quick Ginger Ale Chicken

Soup Recipes

Here are a few of my favourite soup recipes. As the weather cools off there is always a pot of soup on the stove, makes for healthy tasty, warming any time meals and of course it’s a perfect way to get your daily veggie intake. There a quite a few other great soup recipes, so take a peek.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Butternut and Sweet potato soup

Minestrone soup

Quick Mustard Chicken

Quick Mustard Chicken

Wholegrain Mustard chicken

This chicken recipe is very quick and very tasty, you will be out of the kitchen in 20 minutes tops. The recipe also does very well doubled which makes it ideal for large crowds. These ingredients serve 4 to 5 people depending on what you decide to serve it with. I like to serve it with boiled baby potatoes that have been rustically crushed and tossed in better, parsley and black pepper as well as green beans.

You can also use the sauce as a creamy pepper sauce for steaks and it also goes very well with pork so have a ball with this one, it’s a keeper!

What you need

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
Olive oil (about a tablespoon)
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
1/2 cup white wine
200ml Creme Fraiche
Salt and pepper

The process

Heat your oil in a pan on a medium heat and toss in your chicken pieces. Cook them, tossing them about for about 5 or 6 minutes until they are almost cooked and lightly browned.

Now add the wine, paprika and mustard, give it a stir and leave it to simmer for about another 5-6 minutes.

Lastly stir in the creme fraiche, taste, season stir and serve!

Give it a little sprinkle with some paprika once on the plate.

Delicious Chicken Casserole

Delicious Chicken Casserole

Chicken Casserole

This Chicken Casserole is so simple to make and is real home made Italian style cooking that never fails to meet the taste test. It’s economical and you don’t have to use the vegetables in the recipe, use whatever vegetable you have in your fridge. You will love the chunky farm style look of the dish and the flavour is fabulous. The best oart is that it is a meal all on it’s own, although I always have a nice fresh roll or piece of French loaf on hand to mop up the last of the sauce. (Good for 4 people)

What you need

6 Large chicken thighs or large legs (if small use 8)
4 pork sausages sliced into 3cm thick slices (or 1 chorico sausage)
3 medium potatoes (try sweet potato for a change)
1/2 Garlic bulb broken up (leave skin on)
4 large sticks celery roughly chopped (or 1 fennel bulb)
2 medium onions quartered
4 tomatoes quartered
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme/ Italian herbs)
Salt and pepper
1 cup Chicken stock

The process

Pre-heat your oven to 190 Celsius

Cut your potatoes into quarters and pop into a pot of cold water along with the garlic and Celery, bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat leaving them standing in the hot water while you get the rest of the dish together.

Heat a little oil in a pan and fry your chicken pieces and pork sausages on a medium heat until you have some nice colour on them. Remove from the pan and place into a casserole dish/ roasting pan. Use the same pan with it’s fat in it to fry your onions until glassy, add the tomatoes and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. You may need to add a little water at this stage, just a splash.

Remove the Potatoes, garlic and fennel from the water and add to the chicken saving the water. Now add the onions and the tomatoes to the chicken, move it all about a bit to distribute evenly.

In this one I added about 1/2 a cup of tinned chickpeas just before going into the oven(tip always shell you chickpeas by squeezing between thumb and forefinger first)

Make your 1 cup of stock with the liquid remaining in potato pot, pour over the vegetables and chicken and pop into the oven for about 45 minutes.

Done and delicious.

Devils food cake

Devils food cake

Devils food cake

This cake recipe has got it all, chocolate, cream, rich and delicious, the name says it all. It takes a while but you will you ever enjoy every slice of it when its done. I have made it with a butter cream icing as well which makes a nice change from the chocolate icing.

What you need
280g soft brown sugar
40g cocoa powder
250ml milk
90g chopped dark chocolte
125g softened, unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs, separated
185g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 cup cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Chocolate Icing
50g dark chocolate, chopped
30g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon icing sugar

The Process
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Lightly grease two deep 20cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.

Combine third of the brown sugar with the cocoa and milkin a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar and cocoa have been dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it is melted. Cool.

Cream remaining brown sugar with the butter with electric beaters until light and fluffly. Beat in the vanilla, egg yolks and cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in the sifted flour and bicarbonate of soda.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture.

Divide the mixture evenly into the two cake tins and bake for 35 minutes. Leave in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool.

For the icing, put the butter and chocolate into a heatproofbowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure it does not touch the water, and stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and stir until smooth.

For the filling, whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a small bowl with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Spread over one of the cold cakes, top with the second cake and spread with icing, over the top. You may not be able to contain yourself but you should use a peeler and shave some milk choclate over the top.

Bread and butter pudding

Bread and butter pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding

Bead and butter pudding is one of those desserts that seem to really bring a family together and get them chatting at the end of a meal. Its warm, homely, moreish and smells great. I know it’s been so hot in SA lately but serve this with a dollop of great vanilla ice cream or shipped cream and you have a winner.

What you need

Crustless bread cut into triangles (I sometimes leave the crusts on of they are thin)
Apricot jam
Coconut grated (optional)
1/4 cup Raisins andcurrants (optional)
2 eggs
750ml milk
125ml sugar

The process

Butter and jam bread generously.

Arrange bread triangles overlapping slightly in an ovenproof dish, if using coconut, sprinkle over the bread.

Beat eggs, add sugar and milk then pour it over the bread and leave to soak for 30 mins. Sprinkle over the currants and raisins.

Bake at 160 celsius for 1 hour or until the top is browning lightly and the custard mixture is heaving underneath the bread.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream

Simple, done and dusted.

Eggs Benedict with Asparagus and Bacon

Eggs Benedict with Asparagus and Bacon

Eggs Benedict with Bacon and Asparagus

This is a really great meal as a breakfast or a lunch, I also like to add bacon to this one but it is just as good without. It’s really important to use a toasted English muffin, the slight sweetness of the muffin adds a whole new dimension to the flavour and the crunchy outside with the soft airy inside makes all the difference. Also use the small asparagus spears, they are soft and tender. (makes 4 eggs benedicts – 2 people)

What you need

1 small punnet baby asparagus (about 20 spears or so)
2 tablespoons butter
4 large fresh eggs
2 English muffins halved and toasted

Hollandaise sauce

3 egg yolks (large)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
180g butter that has been melted
Salt and pepper

The process
Start by heating the water in your egg poacher while you prepare the asparagus.

In a pan on a medium heat, add the butter and when foaming add the asparagus. Cook them for about 4 0r 5 minutes until soft on the outside or until slightly browned bits begin to appear on the skin. Set the aside keeping them warm. If you are using bacon as well, use 2 slices of bacon per 1/2 muffin, cook and set aside.

I use a poacher to poach my eggs which need to be medium with a soft center and usually takes about 3 minutes.

While the eggs are poaching make the Hollandaise sauce and toast the muffins.

Place the 3 egg yolks and the lemon juice in a blender or the container of a hand blitzer and give them a blits for about 30 seconds, then add the melted butter in a slow stream while blitzing and the sauce becomes thick, glossy and smooth.

That’s it, place the bacon and asparagus onto the toasted muffin, then top with an egg and drizzle over the Hollandaise sauce and give a little grin of black pepper and salt.

Absolutely delicious!