Wednesday, September 29, 2010

October Sushi Club

This picture belongs to JamieWhoSA go show him some love

I am always happy when I get to eat sushi, I especially love eating sushi with friends. Nothing like good food and good company. Minato's was a place I tried a long time ago and was ready to go back, until some on told me Papa Son, the owner who is famous for his Douglas Green adverts, had sold the place. Can you imagine how happy I was to discover that he had bought it back? So now is your chance to share in the delight and the very unique experience that is Minato's

Please leave a comment to book your space

Place: Minato's, 4 Buiten Street
Date: 13 October 2010
Time: 19:30 onwards
Please RSVP by the 10th so I know how many to book for. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Braai (BBQ) time!

Heritage day in South Africa is one of the more lighthearted of our public holidays. It's a day when we celebrate our diversities and how they come together to create a truly unique flavour in South Africa. This past weekend I decided, after a difficult fast that I was braaing (b-rye-ing) and I didn't care that it was raining, I went ahead and prep'd my food and by the time I was ready, the sun came out for just long enough to light up my world as I turned the food on the fire.

Cooksister is hosting an event over on her blog for braai recipes and since the recipe on her anouncement post was sosaties (skewered meat) I have not been able to get the idea out of my head. I decided to do them anyway and just add my own flair. I love lamb, especially when you add the middle eastern spices, I am hooked. I also love rubbery hot cheese and exploring new flavours and so I was left with no other options but to indulge a whole bunch of my loves and pop them all on one plate...but 2 skewers.

Add to that some Israeli favourites, some new ideas and a hungry family, I had a winning combination.

Lamb and Moroccan sausage skewers

What you need:
cubed lamb
red,green,yellow peppers
spicy Moroccan sausages (we made ours but any spicy sausage will do)
crushed dried garlic

What to do:
Marinate the lamb in the spices. Pop everything onto the skewers how ever you wish. Pop on a hot fire and turn every now and again

Braai cheese and veg skewers

What you need:
red,green,yellow peppers
baby marrow
Lancewood braai cheese
NoMU vegetable Fonds (or any other vegetable stock)

What to do:
Cut the mushrooms in half, cut the baby marrow into pieces about 4cm long. Soak in hot vegetable stock (this makes the veg soft enough that they don't split when skewered). Skewer the veg and cheese as you wish. Braai and serve

These are just the ones I did but the beauty of these is that you can do them according to your taste :) We served ours with some pitas, nafis, freshly baked corn bread (the husband calls it cake bread) and mashawsha

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stuffed pepper

Sometimes I forget to post the pictures that I take. I get so lost in the taste and then I get lost on the internet and then I forget about the pictures. I get so excited when I find them as the bring back floods of tastes and smells and experiences. Unfortunately they don't always bring back exact recipes. This one is one of them and I am apologising in advance for the vagueness of the following recipe.

To be honest though, stuffing peppers is a pretty easy endeavor, you really can put anything in them and it should taste fantastic, especially with sweet red peppers. This was a meat free Monday meal.

What you need:
Red peppers (1 or 2 for each person depending on size and hunger)
2 cups rice
1 cup lentils
1 large onion (sliced)
a couple of zucchinis (sliced into thin strips)
smoked paprika
1/2 cup mozzarella
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

What to do:
Boil the rice and the lentils. Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a large pan fry the onion in some olive oil, add the spices, fry a bit more then add the zucchini. When the rice and lentils are done mix everything together and stir  for about 30 seconds then remove from the heat. Cut the top off the peppers and empty them out. Stuff with the filling , sprinkl some grated mozzarella and pop the top back on. Place on a baking tray and into the oven for about 15 minutes.

The Shopping List

Monday, September 13, 2010

1st meeting of #foodclub

Saturday morning saw me bright and early at the Neighbourhood goods market, to work. You see I have secured myself another income with Oded's Kitchen and so I was there to work. The day was beautiful and I was inspired by the heat to get some Ginger Lemonade for my lunch guests. I wasn't having a regular lunch, oh no, Saturday was the beginning of a new project, #FoodClub.

What had inspired this project was the Fairview Bloggers Promo I had entered (and won, ahem) where we all looked at each other's entries with awe and drool and so I had an idea, I shared it with Marisa and #FoodClub was born.

The idea is simple, we choose a product, we all cook something with it, then bring it over for the #FoodClub meeting. Like a book club but you can eat it :P So Saturday was our first. Unfortunately only 4 of us made it, which in a way very sad but in on the other hand, if I had had to have more Camembert my body would have packed up and left. Our product had to be Fairview's Camembert, as it was what sparked the birth and will always be our first.

I will now stop rambling and show you the pics, unfortunately they were all taken on my phone so not the best quality but pretty non the less. Will update with the pic of all 4 of us when I get them from my mom :)
Gathered around the stove, typical

My camembert and nutbutter springrolls

Nina Timm's Baked Camembert

JulyAte's Gingered Apricot and Camembert Tart
The Creative Pot's Dark Chocolate Camembert Truffles

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guest Post - Matt Allison - I'm no Jamie Oliver

Friday already, wow this week has really flown by and with it comes a new guest post. All my previous guests have been long time bloggers, most of them I have known since my food24 days, this week is different.

The world wide web is jam packed with food bloggers, every day more and more start up and you can spend hours looking through them. Some start for monetary reasons, others for fun and some have reasons that really amaze you like, for example, Matt Allison from I'm no Jamie Oliver. Before you read any of his other posts, read his intro, it's the entire reason I started following him. 

There are many people who are replicating the whole "Julie and Julia" project but I never really go that vibe from Matt, you know, that wannabe thing. In the short time that he's blogged and I have followed I have enjoyed every post, the pretty pics and the funny comments.

Guess what though, he not only can he cook from Jamie Oliver's but does his own thing too! Multi talented the man is, check it out:
LadyRaven approached me to write this weeks guest post, and while I was honoured, I’ve got to say I was nervous...

I’ve been an instinctual cook for years and until my current challenge of cooking my way through Jamie Oliver’s '20 minute meals', I’d never read a recipe before, let alone written one!

I’ve always loved the kitchen, but really don’t enjoy labouring over my creations, hence the push towards 20 minutes meals, and I can proudly state that this is one.

So without much further ado I present:

Thai Green Chicken Curry (serves 2 as a main course, 4 as an appetizer)

2 medium sized chicken breasts
1/2 tin of coconut milk (200ml)
60g thai green curry paste
vegetable oil
sea salt
2 tablespoons of butter
1 lemon
1 small red onion
2 cups of mixed vegetables (broccoli, baby corn & sugar snaps)
A small bunch of basil leaves
150g of basmati rice

Step 1: Fill your kettle and bring to the boil, preheat your oven or warmer draw and place your bowls in to warm.
Step 2: Fill a pot with the boiling water and place on a high heat, once boiling add the rice, a pinch of salt, along with the zest of the lemon.
Step 3: Place a wok or shallow frying pan on medium to hot heat, add 15ml of vegetable oil and add the sliced onion. Gently sauté until the onion is soft and browning.
Step 4: Slice your chicken breasts into strips and add to the onions, stir fry for a minute, then add in the thai green curry paste and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Step 5: Add the coconut milk and the mixed vegetables to the chicken, onions and curry paste mixture, simmer on a medium to low heat for 3-5 minutes.
Step 6: When your rice is cooked, drain it into a sieve, place it over the pot and add the butter, place the lid on the pot and let it sit.
Step 7: Remove the curry mix from the heat and set to one side, remove your bowls for the oven/warmer drawer and divide the rice between them.
Step 8: Tear the basil leaves and mix them in with the curry, then serve on the bed of rice

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chicken casserole

The other day polkadotcupcake blogged about a quick and easy meal she had made. The picture in her post was haunting me for weeks before I finally gave in and found a time to make it. My mom wasn't keen on having dishes for the Saturday and they were planning on getting fish and chips from Ocean Basket. Horrified at the thought of having Ocean Basket for Friday night supper I offered to cook something that didn't take a lot of dishes. Hence the chicken casserole was brought to the front lines.

Now I can't follow recipes, especially not when it comes to cooking. I am better with the baking, that being said I have even started messing with those recipes with some great results. So my chicken dish ended up being something completely different.

Firstly my mom doesn't really like food cooked with wine so I needed to find a substitute. I had heard so much good stuff about the new NoMu Fonds so I had to pop that in there as my liquid. Also once I was in the shop I let the ingredients available lead me and ended up buying a combo of thyme, parsley and rosemary as my herbs.

The dish was very well recieved, so much so that it's our contribution (with beef instead of chicken, though) to tonight's New Year's feast.

What you need:

1 tray thigh and drumstick mix
1 sweet potato
1 bag pickling onion
1 bag baby new potatoes
1 punnet mushrooms 
1 red onion
4 green garlic
1 litre Vegetable stock (NoMu fonds)
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp crushed garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

What to do:
Mix the flour, spices and seasoning. Coat the chicken in the seasoned flour. Chop up all the vegetables roughly except the green garlic( just separate the stem from the bulb), the pickling onions and the baby new potatoes. Heat up some olive oil in your casserole dish on the stove. Fry the chicken pieces until golden and remove from the dish. Put down a layer of veg, then the chicken then more veg. Pop on the herbs and then add the veg stock. The stock should come up just under the veg and not cover. Pop the lid on and place in the oven at 180°C for about 1 hour or until the potatoes are soft. 

Serve with some crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Disclaimer: I was not given any products or paid to endorse any products in this post

Friday, September 3, 2010

Guest Post - Nicola George - Wots for Lunch

I feel kinda bad about this one as I had asked Nicola over at Wots for Lunch for a post 2 weeks ago and have only just gotten around to it. @ weeks ago my world collapsed a little as my work computer crashed hours before deadline and the Friday after that I was frolicking with goats at Fairview.

I didn't want to do a rushed post because Nicola deserves more then that. another Food24 original, Nicola has always impressed me with her beautifully packed lunches. No matter how much I try I can never replicate and mine always look like a sad mockery of hers. As a designer I really appreciate creativity in every day things and Nicola really brings that into her food. If I had to open a lunch box with her creations at work every day my days would be filled with smiles. So without further ado, I bring you the Bento Master :)

Lady Raven has been asking me if I would like to do a guest post for her for awhile and every time she has extended the invitation I've chickened out. But this week when she asked I couldn't say no and so a mad scrambled began as I tried to figure out what to post about. Luckily I found something in my archives that thought might be fun to revisit, home-made pickled ginger. Making it yourself is so easy and the flavour is much fresher and not as sweet as the commercially produced kind.

It's a really simple process, all you need are four ingredients
  • fresh ginger - about 5cm long
  • salt - enough to sprinkle over slicked ginger
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar and
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  1. Peel the ginger and thinly slice using a mandoline or vegetable peeler.
  2. Sprinkle slices with salt and leave in a bowl for an hour or so.
  3. Drain the slices of ginger and pat dry to remove any excess salt.
  4. Gently heat the vinegar and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Pour the vinegar and sugar solution over the sliced ginger and leave to cool.
  6. Once cooled store in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.

You don't have to limit yourself to eating pickled ginger as an accompaniment to sushi either. Here I've used it in a salad (you can't really see it, but it is there) with some sliced chicken breast, avocado, orange, cucumber and mint. It's a really refreshing meal for those warmer days that are heading our way. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

When I first discovered this recipe I was completely taken aback. I thought I could never get it right but I decided to try them anyway. While the resulting images were no where near as good as they could be the taste was phenomenal and I have made red velvet cupcakes and red velvet cake several time since. I love red velvet cake so much I had it as my wedding cake (although it was "blue" velvet for that occasion) and even TheHusband has a great fondness, I know this because he only requests 2 things by name, "Hummus im basar" (Hummus with lamb) and these beauties

The first couple of times I made them I used a chocolate buttercream icing. It wasn't bad but these babies were made to go with a cream cheese icing (and also apparently boiled icing which I haven't yet tried to make...yet). They are essentially chocolate cup cakes but with so much more decadence. Fun to make to as you throw the baking powder into the vinegar and watch it all fizzle.  

If ever you need to start sifting your dry ingredients it's with these beauties. The more air the batter has the more velvety it is and trust me you want them as velvety and light as possible. This however also means that the cake is a delicate one and doesn't do well will too many layers (perfect for cupcakes though).

What you need for the cupcakes:
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp red food colouring
1 tsp salt
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp vinegar

What to do:
Preheat oven to 180°C and line your cupcake tray. Cream the butter then beat in the sugar gradually.  Add the eggs - one at a time -beating well after each addition.  Make a paste of the cocoa and food colouring and add to the creamed mixture.  Add the salt, flour, vanilla extract and buttermilk, beating well after each addition.   Sprinkle the baking soda over the vinegar and then pour the vinegar over the batter.  Mix well. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cupcakes bounce back.

What you need for the icing:
  • 448g cream cheese, softened
  • 115g butter, softened
  • 250g sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 5ml vanilla extract

What to do:
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy(I gave me a hearty mix so that it got as white as possible). Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

I decoreated mine with some Vanilla Man Vanilla Coco Grinder