Asparagus, Artichoke and Roast Pepper Salad with Feta, Olives and Parmesan

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 8.49.33 PM

So there are a few cheats in this one, but honestly one of the yummiest flavour combinations that will transform your mid week meals into something special! Super quick to make and packed with deliciousness!

  • 3 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tub of marinated artichokes
  • 1 Roasted red pepper with skin removed
  • About 10 pitted black olives
  • 1 round of feta cheese
  • 2 cups of fresh green asparagus
  • Fresh Parmesan Shavings
  • Rocket leaves (Arugula) to garnish
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
  • Balsamic Glaze to drizzle

Wash and drain the spinach leaves and arrange on a serving plate / dish and drizzle a teeny bit of balsamic glaze over to dress lightly.

Steam the asparagus for 5 -6 minutes and then add them to ice water to cool. Then remove and pat dry and season with salt and pepper and put aside.

Arrange the sliced roast pepper, olives, feta, artichokes and seasoned asparagus on top of the spinach leaves and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Top with parmesan shavings and rocket leaves and then drizzle the balsamic glaze over the top and serve.

Enjoy x

Advertisements

Halloumi and Mushroom Kebabs with Salsa Verde and Cous Cous

Halloumi and Mushroom Kebabs

I came across this Hairy Bikers recipe on the BBC Food website about 3 years ago when I was going through a halloumi craze! I wasn’t very big into no meat meals so I got a deboned leg of lamb from my butcher and cut it into cubes. Rubbed some of the salsa verde onto them with some salt and pepper and then seared them in some hot olive oil and then added them to the skewer and finished them off with the rest of the ingredients in the griddle pan. I also precooked my button mushrooms before skewering them and it worked beautifully. You could also add cubes of rump steak and treat in the same way as I did the lamb.  There are so many fantastic flavours in this dish and make for a really great vibrant and colourful meal to brighten your week up! This is the recipe that introduced me to salsa verde which has become one of my absolute favourite tastes!

 

For the couscous

125g cous cous

125ml hot vegetable stock

5 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon, juice only

1 ready-roasted red pepper, shredded

50g toasted flaked almonds

50g dried apricots, chopped

 

For the skewers

200g halloumi cheese, cut into 2.5cm cubes

8 cherry tomatoes

8 button mushrooms

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

Rumb steak or deboned leg of lamb cut into cubes (optional)

 

For the salsa verde

bunch parsley,chopped leaves only

bunch basil, chopped, chopped leaves only

bunch mint, chopped, chopped leaves only

2 tbsp drained capers

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

½ tsp Dijon Mustard

100ml olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

 

Preparation method

  • For the couscous, place the couscous into a bowl and cover with the hot stock. Cover the bowl with a plate or cling film and leave for four minutes.
  • Uncover the bowl and fluff up the couscous with a fork. Stir in the remaining ingredients, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • For the kebabs, preheat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Toss all of the kebab ingredients together and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Thread the ingredients onto metal kebab skewers and cook on the hot griddle for 5-6 minutes, turning frequently.
  • For the salsa verde, place all of the salsa verde ingredients, apart from the olive oil, into a food processor and blend, gradually adding the oil until you have a loose paste.
  • To serve, spoon the couscous onto plates, top with the kebabs and drizzle with the salsa verde.

Serves 2

 

Photo from the BBC Food Website

Festive Black Forest Trifle

561631_10152128622017238_292014454_n

Christmas Trifle is somewhat traditional in South Africa. However I feel it has become a bit boring and predictable. I found this recipe on BBC Good Food by James Martin. I made it for a Christmas workshop and it went down brilliantly. I made 50 little ‘tasters’ for the people who came, but they looked so pretty as individual servings that I think it would be such a lovely idea to make these in a wine glass or similar and make individual trifles for your Christmas guests or dinner party guests. The brownie base adds an incredible decadence and the cherries and creme fraiche ensure that it is not sickly sweet. The good news is, that if you have made your brownies before hand, this recipe is seriously quick and ridiculously easy!

Here are the little tasters I made:

1477911_10152126897657238_2090305691_n

The original recipe calls for you to whip the double cream and creme fraiche until soft peaks form and then pile onto the top. Which you can absolutely do, but I took the cream mixture a little further and then used a piping bag with a 1M nozzle and piped beautiful little roses on top which looked gorgeous. The choice is yours! ENJOY!

 

500ml tub ready made chilled custard (I used the Woolworths fresh custard which was gorgeous)

100g plain dark chocolate, broken into pieces

400g chocolate brownies

2 x 390g jars cherries in kirsch or similar (I used Morello Cherries that you can get at Pick ‘n Pay)

300g tub double cream

200ml tub créme Fraiche

25g icing sugar

Grated chocolate, to decorate, and fresh cherries (optional)

 

  • Put the custard into a pan with the chocolate pieces. Gently heat, stirring, until the chocolate has melted into the custard. Cover with cling film and cool.
  • Arrange the brownies in the base of a trifle bowl. Drain the jars of cherries, reserving the liquid, and scatter over the brownies. Drizzle over 100ml reserved liquid. Spoon the cooled chocolate custard over and chill while you make the topping.
  • Lightly whip the cream with the creme fraiche and icing sugar until soft peaks form. chill until ready to serve, then pile on top of the trifle and decorate with grated chocolate and fresh cherries.

Recipe by James Martin

Red Velvet Flan

Red velvet flan

This is an incredible take on the red velvet classic. It has a beautiful dense, moist base, filled with a cheese cake filling that compliments the cake so well. I topped mine with strawberries only, but this recipe from Moirs suggests chopped meringues as well. It’s something different and quite special! A great option to make for a dessert as you can do it the day before!

For the Cake:

312 ml (180 g) cake fl our

187 ml (150 g) sugar

5 ml Moir’s Bicarbonate of Soda

10 ml cocoa powder

2.5 ml salt

125 ml buttermilk

1 extra large egg

165 ml oil

5 ml vinegar

15 ml Moir’s Red Food Colouring

2.5 ml Moir’s Vanilla Essence

Filling: 

230 g cream cheese

1 x 397 g can condensed milk

80 ml fresh lemon juice

5 ml Moir’s Vanilla Essence

4 meringues, chopped

250 g strawberries, hulled and halved

Icing sugar for dusting

Cake:

1. Sift the dry ingredients together. Do this TWICE.

2. Beat the buttermilk, egg, oil, vinegar, colouring and essence together.

3. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.

4. Pour into a greased 25 cm flan tin. (I used 2 smaller disposable tart tins)

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 -35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

6. Cool in the pan. Once cooled, press the centre down a bit and using your fingers around the edges shape the cake into a ‘pie crust’ shape to make space for the filling.

Filling:

7. Beat cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth.

8. Add the lemon juice and the vanilla and beat for 2 minutes.

9. Pour into the prepared flan casing.

10. Refrigerate for about 3 hours or until set.

11. Sprinkle the crushed meringues on top and press gently into filling.

12. Arrange strawberries on top and dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Recipe by Moirs

Photo 2013-08-20 10 40 23 PM

Decadent Chocolate Mousse

ChocolateMousse

I have searched high and low for a decent chocolate mousse recipe. Some of them I found had great ingredients, but a terrible method. Some had a great method but the ingredients lacked something. Again, I did what I do best and scrambled up a few recipes to come up with this one. It works beautifully and tastes SO good! You do have to let it set overnight though, which I think is great for dinner parties as you can get a whole course sorted the day before. Don’t take shortcuts, this one needs that time in the fridge! You can decorate with some icing sugar and berries or strawberries. This one is a winner!!

 

200g dark chocolate, chopped

20g butter

3 eggs, separated

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 cup (250ml) pouring cream

120g raspberries

 

  • Place the chocolate and butter in a small glass bowl that fits snugly on top of a small saucepan with boiling water in the saucepan, one third full. Over a low heat and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Meanwhile whip the cream until soft peaks form and then place in the fridge to keep cool.
  • Put the egg yolks into a bowl and give them a light whisk with the castor sugar. Once the chocolate is melted, add a little to the egg yolks to temper the yolks and then mix. Then add the rest of the chocolate. Pour everything into the same bowl that you melted the chocolate in and then return the bowl to the bain-marie sauce pan and stir continuously over the boiling water for about a minute or 2 until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold through the chocolate mixture and the whipped the cream.
  • Spoon into serving glasses and refrigerate overnight until set.
  • Top with the raspberries to serve.

Serves 4

 

Panini Steak Sandwiches With Pickled Peppers And Crispy Baby Potatoes

Steak sm

This is a fantastic recipe to entertain with. We had friends over on Sunday afternoon and it was a perfect lazy Sunday afternoon meal! It was stress free entertaining because it was quick and easy and tasty! You can do the steaks on a braai (barbecue) or you can do then in a pan. You can add whatever you like to the steak sarmies but I find that keeping it simple highlights the flavour of the steak – which is the hero of the dish! You don’t want to overpower that with adding too many ingredients.

1 kg good quality steak (sirloin, porterhouse or any of your favourite cuts – I used porterhouse) cut about 2cm /  2.5cm thick (about 4 large steaks)

1 small jar of pickled, grilled red peppers

1 handful of italian flat leaf parsley

1 handful of Thyme leaves

Salt and Pepper to season

Horseradish

Olive oil

100g butter

10 baby potatoes

6 cloves of garlic

2 sprigs rosemary

2  – 3 handfuls of micro greens

6 small panini loaves

– Start with your potatoes.  wash them and cut any large potatoes in half, then add all of them to the large heavy based casserole dish that can go on the stove top and oven. Add a good pinch of salt. Peel and bruise the garlic cloves and add them to the casserole dish. Pour in enough cold water to cover, then bring to the boil and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

– While the potatoes are cooking, you can prepare the paninis. Slice them and drizzle them with a little bit of olive oil. Then lightly spread one side with a very thin layer of horseradish. (You can add more if you like!). Lay them out so that when the steak is ready you can place them on the paninis easily.

– Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them steam ‘dry’ for a little while.  Return the pan to a high heat, add a good lug of olive oil, and tip the potatoes and garlic back in. Use a potato masher to lightly burst the skins open (don’t mash them though). Add a few sprigs of rosemary and a pinch of salt. Toss every couple of minutes until golden and crisp. (You can finish them in the oven if you want to)

– Finely chop the pickled red peppers on a large clean board. (Save some of the juice that they come in).Finely chop a few parsley leaves, mixing them in with the peppers. spread them out a little to make a ‘bed’ for the steaks (divide the pepper mixture over  two boards). Drizzle over a little bit of the pickling juice.

– Put the steaks on a different (clean) board. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, pick and scatter over the thyme leaves, and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the flavors into the meat, then flip over and repeat on the other side. Pound the steaks once or twice with your fists to flatten them a little, then put into the screaming-hot grill pan to cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side for medium rare, or longer if you prefer. This depends on the thickness of your steaks, of course, so use your instincts and cook them to your liking. Add a blob of butter in near the end of the cooking and let it get hot and coat the steak before taking it out of the pan.

– Take the steaks out of the pan and place them on the ‘pepper bed’ and let them rest with the juices running into the pepper mixture.  When you are ready to slice, take them off the peppers, scrape the peppers to one side and slice the steak into strips (not too thin) at an angle. Mix the slices up with all the peppers, parsley and any meat juices and then place on the paninis. Repeat with the other steaks on the other board.

– Top the steak with micro greens or with rocket or baby spinach (micro greens look prettier and add more variety).

– Pile  the steak rolls on a large platter and then arrange the potatoes around them. Finish off by sprinkling with a few more micro greens.  And serve immediately.

Serves 6

Trifle

Trifle 1 pic

Trifle = childhood happiness. The End.

This is a great dessert that you can make look absolutely gorgeous and let your creativity run wild. It’s very versatile too. This recipe calls for strawberries but you can use any other fruit that you enjoy – bananas are good. So are tinned peaches or fresh mango. Raspberries and kiwi also make it look gorgeous. Another nice and more contemporary way of doing this dessert would be to make individual trifles in pretty glasses to serve to guests at a dinner party. It will always go down well!

1 large jam Swiss Roll (or any plain sponge cake – available at your local grocery store or bakery)

1 packet of instant jelly (raspberry or strawberry flavour)

75ml sweet or medium sherry (you can substitute with rum or brandy)

2 punnets of fresh strawberries, sliced +- 500ml Home-made custard (You can use store bought custard, but its better home made – see recipe below)

100g chopped walnuts or pecan nuts
(optional)

1 cup fresh cream, whipped with a teaspoon of castor sugar

Grated chocolate or strawberries and nuts to decorate

– Make the jelly according to packet instructions and allow to set in the fridge.

– Make the custard and set aside to cool.

– Slice the Swiss Roll or sponge cake and place the slices at the bottom of a glass bowl (round and deep is good).

– Pour the alcohol over the swiss roll or sponge to moisten it. Refrigerate until the Jelly is set.

– Once the Jelly is set, cut it into pieces and place on top of the sponge / swiss roll.

– Add the strawberries (and other fruit if you are using other fruit)

– Cover with the custard and then sprinkle the nuts on top.

– Finally, top with the whipped cream and decorate with the chocolate, nuts and a few strawberries.

– Refrigerate (overnight is best as the flavours will develop)

– Serve cold

Home Made Custard:

creme_anglaise2

250mls whole milk

250mls double cream

50g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, split

6 large free range egg yolks

– Put the milk, double cream and 1 tbsp of the sugar into a heavy based saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the pan. Heat until almost simmering. Then take off the heat.

– Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until creamy.

– Gradually pour the hot creamy milk onto the sugary yolks, whisking as you do so. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean pan.

– Stir the mixture over a low heat until the custard thickens enough to thinly coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil as it will curdle.

– Remove from the heat and strain the custard again through a fine sieve into a cold bowl (unless you are serving it hot right away). Leave to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

Photo courtesy of google.com

Pecorino and Breadcrumb-Crusted Lamb Cutlets

Pecorino and breadcrumb crusted lamb cutlets pic

This recipe is indeed a classic and is really not that difficult. Take your time with it and do it with love. Don’t rush the frying either by making the oil too hot. These will be wonderful if they are allowed to fry gently and become beautifully golden and cooked just right inside. The flavour friends in this dish are definitely the mustard and thyme with the pecorino. Its a great combination for Lamb!

Crumbs:

2 pita breads (you can also use 3 or 4  slices of ciabatta loaf)

1 sprig rosemary (leaves only)

2 sprigs thyme (leaves only)

½ cup (125ml) coarsely grated pecorino cheese

Salt and milled pepper

12 lamb rack cutlets (French trimmed)

¼ cup (60ml) Dijon mustard

Flour for dusting

2 eggs – beaten

Vegetable oil, for frying

Tzatziki, for serving

–       Place crumb ingredients in a blender and pulse until medium-sized breadcrumbs form. Tip onto a plate.

–       Season the cutlets and brush all over with mustard. Dust in flour and dip in egg. Coat in crumbs and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set crumbs.

–       Heat about 4cm oil in a pan and fry cutlets until golden all over.

–       Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with tzatziki.

Serves 4

Recipe from the Pick ‘n Pay Fresh Living Magazine

Tandoori Chicken Curry

2013-05-15 18.50.47

I am by no means a curry expert, but it is a cuisine that intrigues me greatly and I am on a bit of a mission to understand it more! But this recipe is one that I have kind of tweaked and changed along the way and it has become somewhat of a hit in my home and with my friends. It has great flavour and the creamy decadent sauce is delicious with gorgeous fresh naan bread!

12  large chicken breast fillets or 12 chicken thighs on the bone with the skin

For the Marinade: 

1 tbsp cumin powder

1 tbsp tandoori masala (or garam masala, or tandoori spice mix)

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp tumeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/4 tsp chilli powder

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

500ml buttermilk (or natural plain yoghurt – but I find buttermilk is best)

1 tsp red food colouring

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 3cm piece of ginger, grated

For the sauce: 

1 large onion, diced and mixed with 1.5 tsp brown sugar

1 tbsp cumin powder

1 tbsp tandoori masala (or garam masala)

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp tumeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/4 tsp chilli powder (you can leave this out if you want a mild curry, or add extra if you want it very hot)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

4 fresh tomatoes, chopped

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp salt

Remaining marinade

250 mls fresh cream

3 tbsp butter

– Score the chicken fillets (or the thighs)

– Mix all the marinade ingredients together, place the chicken into the marinade – making sure all the pieces are submerged.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

– Heat the oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with some tin foil.

– Take the chicken out of the marinade and shake it a bit to get rid of excess marinade (not too much because you want it to cook with some marinade)

– Place the chicken fillets (or thighs) onto the baking tray and bake until done. The fillets only take about 15 – 20 minutes, please watch it carefully and don’t over cook them! The thighs will take about 35 – 40 minutes.

– Take the chicken out and set aside

– When you have put the chicken in the oven, start the sauce – the longer it simmers the better.

– Fry the chopped onions and sugar in about 2 tbsp of butter. then add the dry spices and stir until fragrant.

– Add the remaining marinade and stir well.

– Add the tinned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, sugar and salt and stir well. Bring it to the boil and then reduce the heat and let the curry simmer slowly for about 45 minutes.

– Blitz the sauce in either a food processor or with a hand held blender until smooth.

– Add 1 – 2 tbsp pf butter and the cream and then taste and adjust the seasoning.

– If you have used fillets, chop them up into bite sizes pieces and then add them to the sauce and let the chicken heat through. Or if you have used thighs, just pop them in the sauce and heat through.

– Serve with white basmati rice and naan bread or popadoms.

Serves 4

Recipe & Photo by Lindsay Dunne

Rory’s Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Apple Cider and Gorgeous Gravy

Slow Roasted Pork Belly

This recipe was given to me by our good friend Rory, who is a master in the kitchen! We love when he comes to visit as he always teaches me so much and spoils us with an incredible meal! I loved this one. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon!

1 pork belly (+- 1 kg)

3 whole star anise

1 level tbsp cinnamon powder

4 whole all spice berries

4 whole Juniper berries

1 tsp sea salt flakes

1 tsp whole peppercorns

1 Tbsp Olive oil

2 onions, sliced thickly

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 x 5cm piece of fresh root ginger, sliced

+- 750mls Apple Cider (like Reds) or white wine or beer

500mls chicken stock

3 tbsp Flour

– Preheat your oven to 150 C

– Score the pork belly skin and fat, careful not to slice any of the flesh

– Remove all moisture from pork rind by dabbing with high-grade paper towel. This will ensure the pork rind crackles perfectly

– Crush the star anise, cinnamon, all spice, juniper berries, salt and pepper in a pestle and mortar until a fine powder is formed. Add the olive oil, mix and then rub that mixture into the pork belly and the skin, working it into the rind.

– Place a large sheet of tin foil in a baking tray or large casserole dish and place the onions, garlic and ginger down in the centre. Then place the pork belly on top of that.

– Fold the tin foil up and around so that it forms a ‘nest’

– Pour the Cider into the tin foil nest, filling it up until all the meat is covered (not covering the skin and fat though).

– Tighten up the edges of the tin foil so that the onions, garlic, ginger and cider are supported well. The foil should surround the pork flesh but leave the skin exposed to crisp up well.

– Roast for 3 hours.

– Take it out of the oven and place the pork belly on a warmed plate and set aside. Don’t cover!

– Pass all the juice through a sieve and then press all the onions and bits through the sieve as well. Then place all that liquid in a non stick sauce pan or frying pan with the chicken stock and add the flour and mix over a medium high heat until thickened to your liking.

– And in the words of Rory – “BOOM” you have amazing slow roasted pork belly with a delicious gravy. To be served with veggies and fluffy rice.

  • you can adjust the spice blend according to the size of your pork belly.

Recipe by Rory Clark

Photo courtesy of google.com