Sunday, October 28, 2012

French Strawberry Tart

It strawberry season again and perfect to enjoy a glamorous French Strawberry tart...
I have always had problems making this delicious melt in the mouth pastry that is called pate sablee ( translated into sand pastry).. Think I have now perfected it and  will share it here.






Pate Sablee

150 g butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp icing sugar
Sift icing sugar
Mix at low speed and combine
1 egg yolk and 1 hard boiled egg yolk grated mix into batter
add 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup and 3/4 cake flour
Take out 2 tbsp flour and replace with 2 tbsp corn starch
Sift the flour
1/4 tsp salt
Mix only until it is well blended
Then wrap dough into cling wrap and chill
Roll out dough with floured  rolling pin into 1/8 inch thickness  and larger than the  18 inch pastry tin you are going to use. You can trim the pastry using your rolling pin over the top of the tin. Make holes  in the pastry with a fork  and chill for about ½ hour.
Bake at 175 deg C for 20 minutes.

While your tart bottom is baking make the pastry cream:

Pastry cream

1 cup milk
Of this take out  2 tbsp  into another bowl
Add 1 grated orange skin
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornflour
3 egg yolks
When the milk comes to the boiling point very slowly add to the egg mixture and then back in to the cooking pot stirring very fast until the cream is thick.  
Immediately cover with cling wrap right on the pastry cream in order that  the  ugly skin does not form.

Assembling the Strawberry Tart 

Pastry must be cold before adding the pastry cream using a palette knife you spread the pastry cream evenly over the bottom.
Then add the fruit starting in the middle
It does not always have to be strawberries but different fruit and even mixed berries and peaches for example. In order for the fruit tart to look very glamorous boil up a bit of fruit jam and then push through a sieve to get the little bits out and make a smooth glaze.
Paint the fruit with glaze

Friday, June 1, 2012

Jam with only 30% sugar… and I thought it can’t be done !!!

January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
I love jam! Yes I admit it and yes I do know it is definitely not good for my hips ! I just love a slice of toast smothered with cream cheese and topped with whole fruit jam. I have been searching the internet for ages to find a recipe that uses very little sugar, does not need gelantine or artificial pectin and was really convinced it could not be done until recently when I read the blog from one of our bloggers here ( so sorry I just cannot remember who it was and posted a delicious recipe for strawberry jam that took 10 minutes to make) . The recipe worked amazingly well using my new wok with a glass lid (in order to see what cooking underneath …

Plumb Jam
I first started using her method ( gosh I wish who it was so I could thank her ..) and made apricot jam using 50% sugar. I left a few pips in just in case
and it took exactly 15 minutes and I had the most perfect whole fruit jam thatwas not watery nor rock solid. However I still have this bad conscience whenever
I eat my favourite toast with jam… so now…. Eureka !!! today I made plum jam with exactly 30% sugar and it is PERFECT !
so here goes the how to:
1 kg fruit ( apricots, plums, peach)
300 g sugar
1 wok
1 side plate in the freezer
Cut the fruit into big pieces, add the sugar, add a few pips and cover with a cloth.
Let the fruit stand for a few hours until all the sugar has “melted”.
Transfer the fruit / sugar into the wok and on high heat with the lid on cook for 5 minutes ( or until all the mixture is boiling).
Wait for another 5 to 7 minutes (depending how much fruit is there) and then do the plate test by spooning a little of the jam onto
the cold plate. If it is not runny, its done !!
Ladle the jam into jars right away but insert a silver fork into the empty jar while filling it, like this the glass won’t break.AND THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT ! perfect jam a la minute !

Zimtsterne – Swiss Christmas Cookies

December 14, 2011 in Uncategorized
Its this time of the year again that we all remember certain things from our childhood. For me it was always the incredible smells of my Granny who was Swiss baking mountains of Christmas cookies for 4 weeks before the actual day. My most favourite was always the Zimtsterne ( Cinnamon Stars) which I still bake today to give away as presents to family and friends.



Ingredients for
approximately 50 cookies (depending on the size of a single
cookie):
3 fresh egg whites
1 pinch of salt
250 g icing sugar sugar
1½ tbsp cinnamon
½ tbsp kirsch or lemon juice
350 g ground almonds
Preparation:
Stir white of egg and salt in a bowl until it is real stiff.
Add icing sugar, stir until ingredients are evenly distributed. Put ½ cup aside for the icing.
Add cinnamon, kirsch (or lemon juice) and almonds, knead to a soft dough.
Roll out dough on a flat surface (it should be slightly covered with sugar), approximately 7 mm thick.
Cut out stars or other shapes and put them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
Let them rest for about 5 to 6 hours or over night in a dry place.
Carefully paint the cookies with the frosting set aside in step 2. Bake
for about 3 to 5 minutes in the center of the pre-heated oven at 250 °C
.
Let cool completely before removing from the tray.

Beetroot Mousse

December 7, 2011 in Uncategorized
Last night I hosted another dinner for 14 Americans and as a couple of them were vegitarians I did not do my normal “fishy” sort of starter. I am currently reading loads of recipes on verrines from books a friend of mine lent me… Oh so many incredible variations are there and all easy to make and delicious. What appeals to me particulary is that the quantities are small, basically just a taste and not any more these huge quantities of food from yesteryear…
Look at these awesome colours !!



Ingredients: (for about 10 smallish glasses/portions)
1 pkt Beetroot ( about 8 pieces)
1 tub Creme Fraiche
1 tub Cream Cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper
Boil the beetroot the night before. Peel and cut into quarters. In liquidizer mix beetroot, creme fraiche and cream cheese to a smooth consistancy.
Add lemon, salt and pepper… and that’s it !
Let is go very cold in fridge and serve with celery sticks or whatever else you prefer.

Pizza at Home

December 3, 2011 in Uncategorized
A couple of months ago my son was asked by an old friend of mine to do a promotional dvd for his new Earthfire pizza oven that is now also available at Yuppie Chef . They decided that my home is the right place to film it and many hours and many pizzas later I was hooked and bought this amazing contraption and have never bought a pizza again from anywhere else!… It is so easy and quick and I think the best and cheapest fun way to entertain during this time of the darn recession !!!



So today is another one of those days that boys have invited their mates to come and “do” pizzas. I agreed to make the tomato base with those lovely fresh herbs from my garden and also supplied the pizza topping for the Dessert Pizza :

Ingredients for Dessert Pizza:
Sliced banana ; pieces of Camambert, chopped walnuts, dabs of sweet chilli sauce, NOMU chocolate sprinkles :) :) totally awesome !

To see just how easy it is to make your own crispy fresh pizza check out this short video :
In one of my earlier blogs I also gave the recipe for Flame Tarts which is one of the typical Pub Foods one gets in the Alsace where I originally hail from. I have tried to make them in the new pizza oven and they work perfectly well.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Connor's Birthday Cake

Being a Granny to a 2 year old has certain duties attached to it... one of them being the making of a birthday cake! I love birthday cakes, especially those that don’t come from some shop but are home-made. So there I was last week with the task to produce a “beach cake”.. as Connor and family live next to the beach it was definitely the way to go. I am fortunate enough to live in Cape Town where we have a shop that just does baking stuff and equipment ! ( Baking Tin in Claremont). Having scoured the shop for anything beachy I started the elimination of my chocolate recipes in the many books lining my shelves and decided on the absolute yummiest one I could find which is David Lebowitz . This recipe comes out of his wonderful book called “The Sweet Life in Paris” and can be bought here from Amazon.com.




For the beach cake:

250 g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate ( I used half & half)
8 tbsp ( 120 g) unsalted butter
1/3 cup ( 65 g) sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature separated
2 tbsp flour
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Butter a 23 cm loaf pan and line the bottom with a strip of parchment paper.

In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, heat the chocolate and butter together until just melted and smooth.

Remove from heat and stir in half the sugar, then the egg yolks and flour.

Whip the egg whites until the start forming little peaks and then add the remaining sugar until the whites are smooth and hold their shape when lifted.

Use a rubber spatula to fold one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the rest until there are no white streaks left.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes, just until the cake feels slightly firm in the centre.

Let the cake stand a bit before removing from the tin.


For the Jelly sea:

For the mould I used a metal cassata loaf pan and lined it tightly with alu foil.
I mixed 3 packets of green jelly powder with a bit of blue food colouring and let this set in loaf pan. ( in the freezer for about 15 minutes) . Once the top was firm to the touch, I scattered a few blue sugar fish (from the baking department of the Spar) and then made another lot of blue jelly to fill up to the top. This lot was then left to harden overnight.






In the meantime I also had to organise a few sailing boats as any good looking sea also needs to have a couple of boats floating about !!!
So...
Take 2 Minolas, half them, scoop out the flesh, fill with red jelly, prop into muffin pans in order to avoid spillage and then wait till jelly is fixed..:)
With a sharp knife (ie the new one from Wuesthof from the FBI11) slice through the middle and then attach paper squares to toothpicks as sails . I copy and pasted a bunch of little photos of Connor into Word tables and cut them to size.

Just one more tip: Prepare the cake mix individually ! It will flop horribly if you multiply the recipe !

 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Coronation Chicken



Last Saturday was the annual Moonstruck charity event on 4th beach Clifton. What a great event and thank goodness we  went early and found a lekker spot against the rocks as it ended up being 36 000 people on that beach. The concert was organised by Radio 702 and one of the performers was Vivky Samson who finished her her set with her signature song that makes every expat overseas homesick with a dose of "wet eyes" - My African Dream - brings goosebumps every time I hear it. No vino allowed unfortunately but we all brought some nice munchies. One of my friends had Coronation Chicken. I must say it was the first time I ate this really nice way of using up day old chicken as with me having done my apprentiship in a German kitchen,  there was definitely no coronation :):):):).... We had something similar and called it Hawaien Chicken Salad..

So here goes with the South African version of Coronation Chicken:



Ingredients:

2 either freshly cooked or day-old chicken breasts
1 large Tbsp Hellman's light
1 large Tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp Tandoori curry mix
1/2 tsp Tamarind paste
1/2 tsp bottled ginger
pinch of smoked bell pepper
pinch of smoked chilli (Smoking Shed)




Shred the chicken meat very finely.
Mix all the dressing ingredients together.
Fold the shredded chicken into the mix.

Serve with some fresh mango and some pecan nuts for crunchiness ( nuts always go well with a chicken salad)

One can obviously adjust the spices to ones own taste...  the way above  just has a slight bite which is nice as you can actually taste all the different ingredients.

ALBONDIGAS SOUP

My sister lives in Brussels and this is one of her favourite meals for lunch and she kindly passed her recipe on to me. The combination of beef and chorizo works so well and gives the whole meal a bit of a zing which I love. ( I am not too fond of those extreme hot sort of dishes which most South Africans love so much). Having received one of those amazing Smoking Shed hampers last Sunday at the Food Bloggers Indaba, I also added a spoon of smoked bell pepper to the soup part of the dish.. and it made it WOW ..:)J





MEATBALLS

1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb chorizo sausage, casing removed 

1 egg, beaten
2
 garlic cloves
, minced
1/2
 carrot, grated

1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup
  coriander, chopped
1/2 teaspoon
 salt

1/4 teaspoon
 pepper
1 teaspoon
 ground cumin

ALBONDIGAS SOUP

6 cups chicken stock
 1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, cut in chunks
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup coriander

1 teaspoon smoked bell pepper (Smoking Shed’s)
1 large zucchini, sliced
salt
pepper


Make the meatballs first: Combine everything and mix thoroughly.
Form meatballs and roll between your palms (Otherwise, meatballs will fall apart in the soup).
You should make around 20 to 24 meatballs, set aside.

Combine chicken stock, onion, celery, tomatoes and their liquid, cumin, oregano, smoked bell pepper and cilantro leaves in a large pot.
Bring to broil, and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Drop meatballs in the soup (Make sure the soup is slightly boiling, the meatballs need to be cooked quickly).
Return to simmer and cook another 10 minutes.
Add zucchini and cook 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.10

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tapenade Dressing




Yes I know...  its been 3 months of silence... ! so very sorry !  Now I have moved home back to Hout Bay and am ready to tackle the world of blogging once more in a big way !
Also joined SureSlim again and even better am going 3 times a week to water arobics ! so 2011 will definitely be the year of health and happiness !
So looking forward to Sunday at the food bloggers conference in Monkey Valley which is really just around the corner from me.

Seeing that these coming weeks / months will be more on the skinny food side here is an amazing recipe for a dressing that i found and tried out:

Tapenade Dressing


This super-easy dressing will make even the most boring of lettuces taste amazing, but it would also be great on arugula, spinach, for just about any salad green.  Garnish with toasted pine nuts, tomatoes, and feta cheese or hard boiled eggs ( for the protein)  for a more substantial salad.  Grilled or marinated vegetables would most certainly be a great idea as well..

  
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. tapenade
1 Tbsp. red wine, balsamic, or sherry vinegar or even some rosmary infussed vinegar gives it a nice touch
4 Tbsp. good olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk.
  2. Drizzle over salad greens of choice and toss before serving.
  3. Add pine nuts and feta or eggs....  whatever grabs you at the moment

Makes enough to dress 4-6 salads.  Leftovers will keep several days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

French Strawberry Tarte



Going to a friend's birthday today I made a traditional French Strawberry Tarte with the basic recipe of Julia Child. I have never made Pate Sablee (Sweet short crust), as I have not really "been into baking" until recently - so this was quite a bit of a challenge. I first used someone else's recipe.. total failure but my dogs loved it !!! Then I tackled Julia's with all her wonderful explanation and voila ! no problem! Now in France a fruit tartelette is always made this basic way with a pate sablee, creme patissier and then fresh fruit on top glazed with a liquidized jam to give it this wonderful gloss that makes it look so appetizing.

I only had a small amount of cranberry jam and had to add some loganberry jam as well to retain the red colouring and know I should have strained it before painting onto the strawberries.. but alas it was too late. So here's my first homemade strawberry tarte:



Ingredients:

A 10-inch fully baked pastry shell (see "Sugar Crust" recipe below)
1 quart large, ripe, handsome strawberries
1 cup red currant jelly
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. kirsch or cognac
1 1/2 to 2 cups chilled creme patissiere (custard filling...recipe below)

Directions:


Hull the strawberries. If necessary to wash them, do so very quickly, and drain them on a rack.
Boil the currant jelly, sugar, and liqueur in a small saucepan until last drops from spoon are sticky. Paint the interior of the shell with a thin coating of the glaze and allow to set for 5 minutes. This will give the shell a light waterproofing. Reserve the rest of the glaze for the strawberries. Warm it briefly if it has hardened.

Spread a 1/2-inch layer of creme patissiere in the bottom of the pastry shell.
Arrange a design of strawberries over the cream. Put the largest strawberry in the center, and graduate down in size, placing the berries closely together, their stem ends in the cream. Spoon or paint over them a thin coating of the glaze, and the tart is ready to serve. Because of the glazed waterproofing in the bottom of the shell, the filled tart may wait an hour or so.

Sugar Crust
"Pate Sablee"


Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups flour
3 to 7 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. double-action baking powder
7 tbsp. fat: 5 tbsp chilled butter and 2 tbsp. chilled vegetable shortening
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Place the flour, sugar, butter, vegetable shortening, and baking powder in the mixing bowl. Rub the fat and dry ingredients together rapidly with the tips of your fingers until the fat is broken into bits the size of small oatmeal flakes. Blend in the egg and vanilla, and knead the dough rapidly into a ball. Place on a pastry board and with the heel of your head, not the palm, rapidly press the pastry by two-spoonful bits down on the board and away from you in a firm, quick smear of about 6 inches. The dough will be quite sticky if you have used the full amount of sugar. Form again into a ball, wrap in waxed paper, and chill for several hours until firm. Bake at 220 deg C for 15 minutes.

Creme Patissiere
(Custard Filling)

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup flour
2 cups boiling milk
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp rose water (if you have)
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks and continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow and forms "the ribbon".
Beat in the flour.
Beating the yolk mixture, gradually pour on the boiling milk in a thin stream of droplets.

Pour into saucepan and set over moderately high heat. Stir with a wire whip, reaching all over bottom of the pan. As sauce comes to a boil it will get lumpy, but will smooth out as you beat it. When boil is reached, beat over moderately low heat for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the flour. Be careful custard does not scorch in bottom of pan.

Remove from heat and beat in the butter, then vanilla extract. If the custard is not used immediately, clean it off the sides of the pan, and dot top of custard with softened butter to prevent a skin from forming over the surface. Creme Patissiere will keep for a week under refrigeration, or may be frozen.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Raw Hummus

What a week it has been..   rather bizarre..  but a good thing has come of it and that is that I am finally in the very very near future moving back  to my home to Hout Bay. So exited that I could platz !

So here for a healthy weekend snack the recipe of Raw Hummus I have been given by a friend . Just made it for a friend's birthday party tomorrow and it tastes amazing..  Very fresh and definitely more healthy than the one made with cooked chickpeas. I am going to try different version as well next week maybe with added cucumber.. we'll see and I shall let you know how it works !




INGREDIENTS

1 cup dry chickpeas
2 tablespoons grounded sesame seeds (tahini)
1½ teaspoon salt / pepper
1 lemons, juiced
½ cup olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed or to taste
¾ cup water
2½ tsp (or to taste) paprika
½ cup fresh basil
½ cup parsley
Chives to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. In the morning drain the
water and leave the chickpeas to stand in the bowl to sprout for the
next 2 days. Wash the sprouts in the evening and again the next
morning.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat, and let
stand for 1 minute. Place the sprouted chickpeas in the hot water,
and let sit for 1 minute. Drain. If you do not do this step, the
hummus will be awful.

3. Place the sprouted chickpeas into the container of a food processor.
Add the tahini, salt, lemon juice, and garlic. Process until smooth,
adding water if necessary. It will take 3 to 5 minutes to blend. Let
sit in the food processor for 5 minutes to allow the mixture to
absorb as much of the water as possible. If too thick, add more
water, and blend again. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Spoon into a serving dish, and garnish with paprika.



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sprouting Seeds

I just read Pink's fab blog  showing Beetroot sprouts.. pink sprouts look so amazing.. and as we all know just how healthy sprouts are..  little nosey me went off on a tangent and found them ! You can buy every kind of sprout online from a place in PE at very reasonable prices

http://www.sproutingseeds.co.za


am soooooooo  exited as  lets face it  nothing could be more healthy that  fresh sprouts !!!

so go for it...  and their prices are discounted by 5% until tomorrow ( opening offer)

have a great weekend all
xoxo



GLOSSARY OF SEEDS
Here is alphabetical quick-link list of all of the seeds available from Umuthi Sprouting Seeds with brief descriptions.
Just a Reminder: All of the sprouting seeds are suitable for planting in the vegetable garden as well. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Raw Beetroot & Carrot Salad

It was only in the last couple of months that I have started to use beetroot in my recipes. This deeply red vegetable had always been relegated to opening a jar of pickled beetroot, and then I only ever opened one of those jars because the man in my house loves this stuff. I just could never get my head around it.

However ...........  I then discovered roasted beetroot ( very yummy with creme fraiche and some balsamic glaze) and I was hooked !  so here in my pursuit of different ways of creating summer salads that are "skinny" is the Raw beetroot ! :)



How to:

Peel and grate about 4 beetroot
Grate 2 large carrots
Add 1 handful dried cranberries
Add 1 handful pine nuts
Add 1 handful sprouted chickpeas

Mix: 
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp tamarind paste
2 to 3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp soya sauce

That's all..  It is a wonderful fresh tasting salad that can be eaten right away and even tastes nice the following day. ( Perfect for lunch boxes to take to the office :))

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pork Fillet

Pork Fillet is a low fat meat . Combined with herbs and spices and roasted in the oven it makes a very delectable meal.
I have one of those small Romertopf clay pots which can do this sort of meal perfectly well. The way I did it last night was as follows:

2 tbsp olive oil into the pot mixed with Nomu pork rub ( about 1 heaped tbsp).
Rub the porkfillet with this all over.
In the space left over in the dish I cut a bunch of vegies, using yellow pepper, baby onions, tomato and courgette, as well a a few self=sprouted chickpeas for the crunch :):)

I also love adding cut up cucumber and celery as these are what the diet people call "free  vegies" ... and for anyone who thinks that cucumber does not do well cooked..... Its Delicious !


I then sprinkled roast veg herb mixture over the vegies and another dash of olive oil. Into the oven at 180 deg C for about 45 minutes, leaving the lid off for the last 15 minutes.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Iced Tea

I love Iced Tea but don't want to buy the commercial stuff that is full of sugar. So I make my own..  at a fraction of the price and a whole lot healthier as well. In fact I make and drink about 2 to 3 liters a day as when it is not so hot I don't really like to drink water and also if the hunger pangs hit  before another meal is due..  this is the perfect alternative to circumvent the fridge !


HOW TO:

In a BIG jug add 4 tea bags Rooibos and 1 teabag Mint Tea
3 to 5 slices of fresh ginger
1 table spoon of Advantage ( aspartame free sweetener)
juice of 2 lemons

Add boiling water and let the tea bags sit until the tea has gone cold and then store in fridge.  If its cold and raining :):)  its also delicious  when you drink it hot !






Mixed Grill

On Sunday I had family for lunch and decided to make something I had not made before and it turned out amazing. Weather was still yukkie in Stellenbosch ( where on earth is the sun????!!)
I had some pork fillet and some bacon  in the fridge and bought a pkt of thin not so fatty beef sausage.
First went to pick some strongish branches of rosemary , took the leaves off, leaving just the top ones on. Then scraped the bark and cut the end to a point .... making the perfect kebab sticks. Alternating bacon, sausage and pork fillet the threaded the kebabs.




Into a baking dish a gluck of olive oil and a good sprinkle of Ina Paarman's Rosemary & Olive spice all over the meat. Oven at 180 deg C for about 30 minutes. Turn the Kebabs over halfway through.


I had made earlier on some polenta the following way:  
2 cups water
1 cup milk
1 cup polenta

Heat the water/ milk mix and add the cup of polenta. Stir the same way you would be doing the local "pap".
When it has the right consistency ( smooth, not grainy anymore), add salt & pepper plus about 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Take off the heat and pour the polenta onto a large plate so it ends up with a thickness of about 1cm. Let it go cold and set.

Stage 2 of making the perfect polenta goes like this :):)
Cut squares out of the cooled down set polenta. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy frying pan and fry these oh so nice little pieces until they are golden on both sides. ( don't move them around too much while this is happening or you will loose the crust).


Lastly I picked a bunch of baby spinach from my garden. The perfect way to get the best flavours out of spinach is like this:
Wash spinach and shake off most of the water. Heat a large pot with a splatter of olive oil. Cook the spinach with a closed lid for about 30 seconds ( to create steam). Take the lid off. quickly stir for no more than a minute. Take off the heat. Grate some fresh nutmeg over it (nutmeg brings out the flavour of spinach) .. salt and pepper ...  all done.



For dessert I made a skinny fruit cream ...

Into the liquidizer goes the following:

2 bananas
1 can of grenadilla pulp
handful strawberries
1 bakkie of fat free smooth cottage cheese
same amount of low fat yogurt
1 tbsp Advantage artificial sweetener

Blitz the whole lot up. Into a bowl, decorate with some fresh mint and berries and into the fridge for 2 hours.
One can obviously use all kinds of different fruit, but I would always include bananas to create the smoothness of the dessert. 



Monday, October 25, 2010

Prawn Fritata

Clearing out the deep freeze I found a 1/4 pkt Woolies prawns. It was one of those days when I really did not feel like cooking as Tony was up in East London. So I made this Fritata with my new Creusier frying pan  :) ( so chuffed with it !!!) and it goes like this:





For 1 person "on diet"


Defrost prawns ( quantity "as you like it")
Chop a small handful parsley
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
2 eggs

heat oven to 180 deg C

In a very hot frying pan (metal handles!) quickly fry prawns with parsley, lemon rind and chilli.
Beat the eggs and stir underneath the prawns ( distribute prawns evenly)
Frying pan with goodies into the oven and leave to bake and puff up for about 3 minutes.
Take out and eat before the whole thing collapses with a big green mixed salad.

Note that if you make this for more people it obviously needs to spend more time in the oven :):)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Preserved Green Figs

Its that time of the year again..  My  green fig tree is laden with fruit. Unfortunately its not one of those kid of figs that have the juice inside, no its a fig purely created for making preserves. So here I go again. My first batch is 4kg which should make lots of nice pressies for family and friends. What will be different this year is that thanks to Pink the figs that turned brownish last year when cooked.. this year they have turned out in their natural glorious GREEN ! The magic potion she remembered from her gran was Vitrioel  which my man from the chemist told me is Copper Sulphate (reminding me of when your hair used to turn green in the swimming pool)



2 kg firm, ripe green figs ( leave the short stem on)
2 tbsp slaked lime
3.5 ltr cold water
2.5kg sugar
1 stick cinnamon
lemon juice of about 3 to 4 large lemons (I left the pips in for a bit of pectin)
Knife tip of copper sulphate to add during the boiling in order to keep the fig colour green

Cut a cross at the base of each fig. Mix the slaked lime in the water, add the figs and leave overnight to soak. I put mine into a sink and weighed it down with a wooden board. This ensures the fruit will be tender, yet have a crisp skin. Rinse thoroughly, place in a bowl of clean, cold water and set aside.



Place about 3.5 ltr fresh water in a deep saucepan to immerse the figs, add the fruit and boil for about 15 minutes until tender. Remove from the pot and drain in a colander ( Do not throw the water away ! Measure the water, and make up to 3 litres. Pour back into the saucepan, add the sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. (Don't allow the syrup to boil until this has happened.)


Drop in the figs one by one (don't allow it to go off the boil) and boil fairly rapidly, uncovered, for about 45 minutes until the fruit is translucent and the syrup has thickened slightly. Pack figs into hot, dry, sterilised jars, fill with the syrup and seal.
Makes about 12 x 550 ml jars.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baked Ricotta & Salad

For some reason I have not really ever used Ricotta before. I came across this recipe of baked Ricotta and as its very low in fat, decided it would make the perfect lunch. As I do a lot of times.. I read a recipe and then do "my own thing" w r t flavours. Hence I am not giving exact measurements here..  just guidelines.



In a bowl  I crumbled the Ricotta and added the following:

2 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp Woolies Italien herb mix
1 tbsp tamarind paste
dash of olive oil
Salt & pepper

Slightly oil a ramekin and push the Ricotta mixture into it. Bake at 180 deg C for 25 minutes.
Arrange your favourite salad ingredients on a plate, carefully turn out the baked Ricotta ( ooops mine crumbled a bit) and lightly season salad and Ricotta with Olive oil and  good balsamic.

I really liked the taste of the Ricotta together with a salad and will definitely do it again. I guess one can even become more creative as to the herbs and spices one is using when mixing the Ricotta..  but for a first time - yes not bad at all !