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French Strawberry Tarte

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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 Cru…

Raw Hummus

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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 b…

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. 
Adzuki Beans (Organic) for Sproutshave a distinctive sweet, nutty flavour, ideal for stir fries and veggie burgers. Alfalfa Sprouting Seeds, known as Lucerne in South Africa, are very nutritious, vitamin-rich, freshly green tasting s…

Raw Beetroot & Carrot Salad

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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 :))

Pork Fillet

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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.



Iced Tea

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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

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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…

Prawn Fritata

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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 :):)

Preserved Green Figs

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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. …

Baked Ricotta & Salad

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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 firs…

Thai Coleslaw

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Having eaten this wonderful Thai inspired salad last Saturday at the Stellenbosch Slow Food Market, I went and got all the ingredients this morning and made a similar salad for lunch today. I read this recipe first at the  Rawlicious recipe book. Its a whole bunch of grating here..  but definitely worthwhile the effort
The quantities  given here is enough to invite 4  people for a lekka lunch :)

2 c red cabbage grated 2 c green cabbage grated 2 c carrots grated 2 c courgettes grated 1 med red onion (chopped) 4 spring onions sliced 1 c loosely packed coriander handful cashews handful roasted nu-seeds 2 Tbsp sesame seeds (should have been black ones, but didn't have)
Thai Salad Dressing 
The following goes into your blender:
1 red pepper 1 c olive oil ( I used 1/2 cup) 1 heaped tsp chilli flakes Juice of 1 lemon 3 tbsp rice vinegar 3 tbsp tamarind paste 3 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp honey ( I used Advantage artificial sweetener) 3 garlic cloves 3 cm fresh ginger 1 tsp curry powder 1 tbsp coriander salt to taste

I k…

Flame Tarte / Tarte Flambe

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Am not sure the exact way to translate a Flammkuechli,  which is a sort of very thin  pizza covered traditionally with creme fraiche, bacon and onions. Its the typical pub type of food in Southern Germany and the Alsace (where I originate from ). I have seen them done here at the Stellenbosch Saturday food market in a slightly different way with rocket and Parma ham which is also delicious..  If you have a pizza tray on your Weber it is also perfect for a quick snack when doing a braai


250 g flour3 Tsp Canola oil 150 ml waterSalt200 g Crème fraîche150 ml  Sour CrèmeSprinkle of Nutmeg150 g Bacon sliced into small pieces450 g  thinnly sliced OnionsSome chopped chivesBaking paper
Heat oven to 250 deg C Mix flour, oil, water and salt to a smooth dough ( must not be sticky) and roll out to the size of your baking tray not thicker than 2mm. ( you will get about 3  out of the amount of mix) Line the baking tray with baking paper and transfer the rolled out dough carefully.
Mix the C…

Salmon & Steamed Vegies

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Its nearly been a week this going on hopefully the very last strict no cheat diet. It was easy, yes really easy. No hunger at all ( guess cause my brain is in the right place :) . They say that the first 4 weeks is the hardest of re-adjustments. Well ...  I am trying to make it as attractive as I possibly can by having lots of choices and different flavours and this seems to be the key to success.

Last night I a lot of different vegies, layed them out in my bamboo steamer ( also added some cucumber which is a "free" vegie and I absolutely adore as a cooked one especially sprinkled with some fresh Dill). Total weight of all these vegies in the pic below was 150 g. Then I seared 150 g of  salmon smeared with a bit of crushed ginger  and covered with roasted sesame seeds and lemon juice. Added a few preserved chilli and lemon pieces and chucked in for good measure some fresh peas ( just for colour). And you know what??????  It tased devine ! Steamed vegies in a bam…

Swiss Christmas Cookies

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Tandy's challenge this week are cookies.:)  Seeing that I am not baking at the moment, I still wanted to post some of my dearest childhood memories. I grew up just outside Basel /Switzerland. The 2 months before Christmas was always a hectic baking time at our home. My granny went into overdrive to bake the traditional Swiss Christmas cookies in ginormous quantities. I have rewritten 3 of her most famous  recipes for this first posting and will do another 3 next time. I sourced the photographs of the internet. 
Basler Leckerli (Basel cookies)These are the very famous bisquits which are sold all year round in Basel  here first the original recipe:) Ingredients for two medium size baking sheets:
450 g honey 300 g sugar 1½ tbs  cinnamon 1 pinch of clove powder ½ tsp of nutmeg 100 g  chopped candied orange peel 100 g  chopped candied lemon peel 200 g  ground almonds Grind skin of one lemon 2 tbsp of kirsch 600g  flour 1½ tsp baking powder 150 g icing sugar 3 to 5 tbsp water
preparation:
Put honey, su…

Skinny Snack

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Being on "The Diet" :)   here is another snack that is low low fat and high in protein... |Very simple roasted Pumkin Seeds



How to :

Heat a heave bottom frying pan , chuck in the pumkin seeds,  turn them over and over until they are nicely roasted. Don't just let them sit or they will burn..

Once they are roasted add quite a bit of cinnamon and let the flavour grow while the seeds are very hot still.
Take off the stove, cool down and then add Salt and either Xyletol or in my case I use Advantage which is also Aspertame free.

Eating pumkin seeds is also brilliant to preven pancreatic cancer I am told...

Potato Salad

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When downloading some pics just now to do a skinny snack recipe, I found I still had my favourite potato salad on here. I guess I cannot let it go to waste..  so today I'll post the salad and the skinny snack tomorrow..

I normally find potato salads very stodgy if it is just made with potatoes and mayonnaise..  I do however love potatoes and have made "my" version of this salad  since the year dot ...... its light and fresh and NOT stodgy :)






Ingredients:

Woolies Mediteranean potatoes about 1 kg
not too soft boiled and cut into slices. They must still
be a bit warm when you make the salad

English cucumber -  1/2 of a big one very finely sliced

2 red onions finely sliced

6 hard boiled eggs  in 1/4

chives chopped

If  too lazy to do home-made mayonnaise, use Hellmans
and mix with a gluck of olive oil, white balsamic, 1 tbsp Dijon
mustard, juice of 1 lemon plus salt & pepper.

Mix all together and do not put into fridge before serving.



Roasted Chickpeas with Moroccan Spices

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See...!  it does not always have to be  potato chips  or tacos...:)
These little gems are delicious and certainly satisfy the graving for a spice snack  in between....



1 400g tin of chickpeas
1 Tbsp olive oil
FOR THE MOROCCAN SPICE MIX:
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 tsp sugar
Preheat oven to 180C.  
Drain the chickpeas into a colander and rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears. Let beans drain for 5-10 minutes, then pat dry with a cloth or paper towel if they still look wet.
While the chickpeas drain, make the spice mix. (The recipe makes far more than you need, but you can store it in an airtight container for other uses.) Toss beans with olive oil and seasonings and lay out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for about 45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes so they don't burn and cook evenly. Check for doneness (…

Boozy Semi Fredo

I've been wanting to post this recipe for a long time now. Never having had a chance to make it I don't have a photo..  and seeing that I am about to embark of this more healthy sort of life style, I won't be making semi fredo for a while :)
Semi fredo is a sort of a creamy dessert that is frozen and can be adapted to whatever flavour or shape you can imagine. The basis always remains the same as in Plain Vanilla :)
This particular one stems from my Swiss/French granny and is a perfect dinner party boozy, delectable piece of culinairy heaven !

Ingredient:

6 large eggs
200 g dark chocolate
200 g ground hazelnuts
1 cup castor sugar
1 Tbsp Nomu Vanilla paste
2 bakkies cream
2 tots of Kirsch or Brandy or Rum

Separate the eggs
Grate the chocolate on a coarse grater
Add the ground hazelnuts, vanilla paste and Kirsch and let this mix rest in fridge for about 30 minutes  for the flavours to intermingle.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat the egg white…

Cooking the right way !

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All my life I considered myself as a reasonably good cook. Having been brought up with French and Swiss style of cooking, it obviously always included lots of the "good things" like cream, wine, butter etc etc.. you get the picture I am sure. However I have finally come to the  conclusion that cooking in my old style does not lend itself to "growing old gracefully" if ones genes are not made that way...  and contrary to 20 years ago.. now the pounds just keep piling on, even with the smallest dicretion. Therefore I have decided  on the need to toe the line so to speak and after signing up today with SureSlim :) I will for the next 7 months ( this is how long it will take I am told to have a body I am supposed to have) cook and invent ways of preparing food that is still as tasty as before BUT without all the goodies I used before. 
I hope that with this way of preparing food on a day to day basis and blooging on it, it will maybe  inspire some people out there to joi…

Amaretti Strawberry Tiramisu

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Spring = Strawberries and Cream !


This combination put together with the wonderful packet of Amarettis I received from Diletto online Deli to make a pud with.. too amazing and oh so very quick and easy to do.

Ingredients:


1 pkt Amaretti bisquits
1 tub Mascarpone
1 cup Greek Yogurt
5 squirts of Nomu vanilla paste
Icing sugar to taste
3 tots Amaretto Liqueur
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Strawberries
1 flaky chocolate


Method:
Find some nice glass bowls. Break about 4 Amaretti bisquits into the bottom of the bowl and soak with a 1/2 tot of Amaretto liqueur. While this soaks in mix the mascarpone with yogurt, vanilla paste, sugar, 1 tot of liqueur. Calculate about 1 handful strawberries per person. Mash the strawberries  just a bit to release the flavour and.sprinkle a bit of ground pepper over them.


Now assemble the dessert. On top of the Amarettis goes 1 layer of mascarpone mix, followed by a sprinkle of flakies, followed by a layer of strawberries and another layer of mascarpone.
I had some instant…

Anglefish with Roasted Garlic & Ginger

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Earlier on this month Francis Richter from www.diletto.co.zaasked me if I would be interested to use one or two of his products that Diletto Online Deli sell. Have a look at their online Deli.. I chose the Oded’s Kitchen Roasted Garlic and Ginger paste which I used so successful tonight as you will see. The other product I chose was a bag of Amarettis (Italien bisquits) which I will use over the weekend to make a dessert.
Diletto delivered the goodies to my house yesterday, so tonight I got cooking J

After having been spoilt with fish from living for 26 years in Hout Bay, I had to make due with what I could find at the local Portuguese Fish monger and managed to get some fresh filleted Angelfish today here in Stellenbosch and had a bunch of fresh spring veggies still in my fridge. 



The fish was marinated in a mix of Oded Garlic and Ginger paste   mixed with olive oil, lemon zest of 1 whole lemon plus juice and some Thyme from my garden. Fried in the marinade for about 10 minutes. I then m…