Calzone

Calzone

calzone-recipeThis is a real classic pizza dough recipe that you should print and keep somewhere for future use. It requires a bit of effort and patience but if you follow it exactly, your pizza and calzone will turn out perfectly every time. I have tried a number of recipes and there is just no quick version that tastes anything like a real pizza.

What you need

Pizza dough

1 envelope dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water from the tap
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Fillings
Here you can go to town using all of your favorites from the fridge with mozzarella, cheddar and a few spoons of chopped peeled tomatoes.
Chicken, mushrooms and onions(cook them first to a light golden colour in a little olive oil). I have added cooked butternut and all sorts of things before, so send it.

The process

Dissolve the honey and the yeast in about 50ml of the warm water(not boiling)

Then in a large bowl, add the flour, salt, oil, the rest of the water and the honey mixture and mix with an electric mixture fitted with the dough hooks, for the unitiated those are the hooks that are twisted. Mix until the dough comes away from the inside of the bowl easily and seems to get stuck in the twists of the hooks. This is the sign you are looking for.

Now spread a little flour onto a clean surface, remove the dough from the bowl and knead for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it forms a smooth mound that is quite elastic.

Place a tiny bit of oil in a bowl and coat the inside of the bowl, place the dough into the bowl, cover with a slightly dampened cloth and allow to rise for about 1/2 an hour.

Lightly flour a surface again and divide the dough into equal portions. Knead each ball by stretching it and then tucking the edges into the bottom and patting the edges to form a ball again. You need to do this about 6 times for each ball.

Now place the kneaded and smooth balls on a tray and cover with a damp cloth again to rest for another 20 minutes or so.

Hey, hey, it’s finally pizza time.

Heat your oven to very hot, about 250 Celsius.

Roll out each piece into a round that is no thicker than 2 or 3mm, fill the one half with your favorite filling, making sure you have left an edge of about 1cm, fold over the filling and give it a little stretch then press the edges together firmly, stretch and fold to create a seal. Twist the ends to ensure they are closed tightly.

Place on a baking tray, lightly brush with a little olive oil and bake for about 10 minutes in the center of the oven or until golden brown.

Remember that you can keep[ the dough for 2 days or so once left to rise the second time. Simply wrap in cling film and into the fridge.

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If you are looking for a quick and easy way to make pizza type food, just get a packet of puff pastry, place in an oiled baking tray, fold over a 1cm edge, prick the base with a fork and add your ingredients, then place in a 200 Celsius oven till the crust is golden. It’s not the same but a good alternative when time is an issue.

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Mutton curry “Kalia”

Mutton curry “Kalia”

mutton-curry-recipeOK folks, this is the real deal that is as good as any lamb or mutton curry you will find in the finest Indian restaurants (or in some of Durbans fine home kitchens). It takes a while to make but is not complicated and lets face it, with the weather as it is right now a little time in the kitchen to make something that is truly memorable is well worth it. It’s called Mutton Kalia or Lamb Kalia if you decide to use lamb. (6 people)

What you need

1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1kg mutton chunks (approx 3cm cubes) You can use lamb as well but this curry is tradionally made with mutton.

Oil
2 large potatoes in chunks similar in size to the mutton
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of cardamom
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
3 medium onions halved and sliced
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water

The process

In a bowl combine mix together youghurt, cumin, vinegar, ginger, chili powder, and turmeric, mix well and then add your meat, cover and marinade in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours for mutton and 2 hours for lamb.

Add about 1cm of oil to a heavy base pot or stainless steel casserole dish on a medium to high heat and cook the potatoes until borwned. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Remove some of the oil, reduce the heat to medium low and add the onions, cinnamon, cardamom, garlic and sugar and cook to soften the onions. Add the potatoes now and the meat to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the water, bay leaves and tomato paste, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, check that there is enough water and add about another 100ml if necessary, stir and simmer for another 1/2 hour.

Now check that the sauce is thick and quite gluey and if not, simmer for another few minutes with the lid off.

It’s quite a process but OH so worth it.

Another of my favorite meals is this Chunky Lamb cottage pie.

Stuffed eggplants

Stuffed eggplants

stuffed-egglantEggplants are a really easy way to create a healthy meal without too much fuss and very little time in the kitchen. I always cook my rice in chicken or vegetable stock these days so I often don’t need much salt if any in my cooking that includes rice.

What you need

2 medium eggplant halved
1 large tomato chopped
1 large onion sliced
125g feta cheese
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 red chili finely sliced (optional)
½ cup cooked rice (optional)
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

The process

Remove the seeds and soft center from the halved eggplants creating a cavity for your filling.

In a pan with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a medium to low heat add the onions, chili and garlic and cook until onions are soft and beginning to brown. add the tomatoes and cook for a further 4 or 5 minutes until the tomatoes have softened.

Remove from the heat, taste and season with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked rice to a bowl, crumble in the feta and add the mixture from the pan. Mix to combine and then fill the cavities of the eggplants and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Place on a baking sheet in a 180 Celsius oven for 1/2 and hour until the eggplants have softened.

Depending on the size of the eggplants you have used this may vary a few minutes either way.

Thai chicken balls

Thai chicken balls

chicken-ballsI made these little beauties for a friend of mine who is on the Sure slim diet and they were a great success. There are no carbohydrates in them at all and I can tell you they are now in my quick and easy anytime recipe collection. They were really delicious and not being on a diet myself, will be making them often. (for 2 people)

What you need

400g chicken mince or chicken sausage meat
1 spring onion finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
pinch black pepper
palm of fresh parsley chopped
palm of fresh coriander chopped
pinch of red chili flakes

Lemon juice to finish

The process

Place the chicken mince in a bowl and add all of the ingredients except lemon juice.

Mix together well with a spoon or just dive in there with clean hands and mix together well.

cover and set aside in the fridge while you prepare whatever vegetables you are going to eat. i had a cuppa tea before I started the veg and the mixture was in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour.

You want to let the flavours linger before you cook the chicken.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and make small balls that will easily fit into the palm of your hand, thread them on a skewer if you have. (wet your hands slightly to prevent sticking)

Cook them until they are nicely browned and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, either with stir fried vegetables or a salad.

As a starter serve them with a sweet chili dipping sauce.

These are really fantastic could just as easily be used with beef mince.(not for dieters)

These Thai corn fritters are also a really fantastic Thai starter

Lemon and Ginger chicken

Lemon and Ginger chicken

lemon-chickenOh man, this is a real treat, crisp chicken in a light batter with a lemony ginger sauce that is unbelievably good. It’s tasty, fresh and clean food best served with egg fried rice and a simple vegetable dish like the pak choy. (4 people)

What you need

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into narrow strips
3 egg whites
1 1/2 tablespoons Maizena (cornflour)
Oil for frying

Sauce
60ml lemon juice
1 cup water
2 chicken stock cubes
2 teaspoons grated ginger
3cm piece fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Maizena
1 tablespon honey
2 tablespoons sugar

Chopped spring onion to garnish

The process

Lightly beat the egg whites, add the cornflour and whisk well until completely combined. Add the chicken strips and mix until they are all covered in the batter.

Heat about 4cm of oil in a wok

Take the strips from the batter individually and drop into the oil. Allow them to cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Place in a low oven to keep warm.

Wipe the wok clean, add the water, lemon juice, grated ginger, honey, sugar and crumble in the chicken stock cubes. Give it a good stir and bring it to the boil. Now combine the maizena and 1 tablespoon of water together then add to the sauce, reduce the heat and stir constantly until the sauce thickens. Simmer for about 2 or 3 minutes to cook the maizena. Remove the sauce from the wok and set aside.

Last part… Wipe the wok clean again and add a little oil to the wok, add the sliced ginger and stir fry for one or 2 minutes.

Add back the sauce and simmer for another 2 minutes.

Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and pour over the sweet lemony nectar. Garnish with a few sliced spring onions.

Seriously good.

Here is the Egg fried rice recipe and the Pak Choy recipe

Babaghanoush

Babaghanoush

baba-ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush

Babaghanoush is a Turkish meze type dish that has a distinct sesame flavour brought on by the Tahini(sesame paste) and is a fantastic starter or just something to nibble on with drinks. Tahini is available in the deli section of most supermarkets. (4 to 6 people)

What you need

1kg eggplant (brinjal) (2 large)
200g plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pinch of salt
Paprika to garnish
Chopped parsley and spring onions to garnish

The process

Heat your oven to 200 Celcius, wash and dry the eggplants, then prick them all over with a fork and place them in the oven on a baking tray for about an hour or until soft. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool before removing the skin. Chop into pieces.

Place the eggplant and all of the rest of the ingredients in the first section into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Season accordingly and give it a last blitz.

Remove and place in a serving dish, sprinkle with a p[inch of paprika, parsley and spring onions.

It is also a good idea to drizzle a little olive oil over the top.

Serve with pita breads or any good heavy loaf of bread heated and broken up.

Try this chorizo starter as another meze option or if you are having guests try the Lamb shanks as a main meal.

Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese

macaroni-and-cheeseMacaroni and cheese is a staple in my kitchen and this is a really fantastic recipe that can be made with or without the bacon. It is really easy to vary a macaroni and cheese recipe by adding you favorite tasty extras like bacon, Vienna’s or even left over chicken. Macaroni and cheese makes for a really hearty meal.

What you need

500g macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon mustard powder
3 cups milk
1/2 cup onion finely copped
pinch paprika
250g bacon (sliced Vienna’s are great as well)
1 egg lightly beaten
350g cheddar grated
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper

1 cup bread crumbs

The process

Preheat oven to 200 Celsius, put a large pot of water on to boil, add salt and when the water is boiling, add a teaspoon of salt and your pasta. Follow the cooking times on your pasta package cooking until the pasta is al dente.

Cook the bacon and onion together is a separate pan until onion is translucent, remove from the heat.

In a pot on a medium heat melt the butter and when foaming add the flour, mix well with a spoon or whisk, add the mustard powder and mix constantly for 3 minutes or so to cook the flour. Add the milk and whisk furiously until the mixture is smooth, add the paprika and cooked bacon and onion mix, reduce heat and simmer slowly while you add the egg, 200g of the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the mixture from the heat, drain the pasta and add to the cheese mix, fold it all together distributing the pasta evenly.

Pour the entire contents into a casserole dish and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese.

Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the topping is brown and crisp.

Serve immediately.

You can get a little creative and add peppadews to the topping as well as a few more bits of bacon. Have a look through some of the other pasta recipes. or this 3 cheese bolognese pasta recipe

Sesame prawns

Sesame prawns

honey-prawns

Sesame prawns

These are a real treat so get some really nice size prawns, make some egg fried rice and settle in for a fabulous sweet and tasty treat. They are easy to do and the sesame seeds add a to the experience, so don’t be tempted to leave them out.(4 people)

What you need

1kg king prawns shelled and deveined
Maizena (Cornflour) (about 1/2 cup for dredging)
1 cup self raising flour
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons honey
sesame seeds
Oil

The process

In a bowl, sift the flour, salt and pepper together, make a well in the center and add the water and beaten egg. Mix with a whisk or a fork to a thin batter.

Heat oil for deep frying to medium hot.

Place the maizena on a plate, coat each prawn in the maizena, shake off the excess and then drop into the batter. remove from the batter and drop into the hot oil until golden brown. Remove and place on kitchen towel.

You can do a few at a time but dont overlaod the pan, the oil temperature will drop and the batter will be very oily.

Once they are all done, remove the oil from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Reduce the heat to low, add the honey and allow to melt and become liuid.

Place the sesame seeds on a plate.

Add the prawns to the honey and toss or move around to coat each prawn in the honey nectar.

remove from the heat and coat the prawns in the sesame seeds.

Serve immediately.

This is a really good dish that the best Chinese restaurant would be happy to serve. While you are deep frying, why not try the Tempura recipe.

Enjoy

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.