Pasta la Vista

Pasta la Vista

Hey!!! Last week I was ill and housebound, the first day was a nightmare, thought I was dying a slow, agonizing death. The following day was a lot more bearable and I could taste things again.

For lunch I decided to make pasta; Claud is carb conscious so we hardly have pasta for supper. Inspired by Gordon Ramsay I threw together this easy mushroom and leek pasta. I added bacon… of course. The below quantities made enough for about 3 – 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • Spaghetti or any pasta you have in the cupboard
  • Approx. 3 leeks
  • Half a punnet of mixed mushrooms
  • 1 packet bacon
  • Approx. 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup Chicken Stock
  • ½ cup cream
  • Salt and pepper

mushie

Method

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. (Always add pasta to boiling water)

I fried my bacon separately and set aside.

Add some oil to a pan and turn on the heat.

Chop up mushrooms and fry for about 2 – 3 minutes.

Cut leeks lengthwise and rinse, leeks often have sand in between its layers and therefore require a thorough rinse. Once done chop the leeks and add to the mushrooms along with the garlic.

Fry for about 2 – 3 minutes.

Add chicken stock and reduce the mixture by half.

Next add the cream, lower the heat and simmer for 4 – 5 minutes.

Turn off the mixture, strain the pasta and add the bacon and pasta into the sauce to absorb all the flavors.

Season with salt and pepper and SERVE!

PS: For a veggie option, don’t add bacon and use vegetable stock instead

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Weekend Things

Weekend Things

Friday past I was telling friends we need to visit Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants (FFMM) to check out different cuts of meat that are rare to find at the local shops and even more so in the Northern Suburbs. As luck would have it we found ourselves parked right opposite the exact butchery the following day in Woodstock and obviously had to pop inside.

I have been following FFMM for a while on Instagram and am always impressed with their social media posts, the quality of their products and the concept of eating good quality, sustainable meat.

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The butchery assistant, Lee, showed us around, he was very clued up about where each type of meat came from.  The whole idea of FFMM is to provide sustainable, good quality meat, using the whole animal from the trotters to the tenderloin, from beef stock to bacon jam. The prices are understandably higher than our regular super market meat prices, however, not ridiculously so. We picked up some short rib for R 150.00.

We met Adrian, the store manager who is very passionate about what they do at FFMM and could educate us on their mission and objectives. The store is a fully functional butchery (Adrian even has the moustache to go), should you happen to visit during the week you might catch them slaughtering a whole carcass.

After a very educational butchery experience, we moved onto the CBD to walk around a bit and found ourselves stopping at House of H to grab a bite to eat. It was a completely random stop as we were tired of walking and decided the next place we find is where we will be having lunch.

 

It was a brilliant find! If you looking for a trendy, hippie, retro place to have lunch – this is it. We arrived and I immediately noticed the chalkboard which had instructions on how everything works.

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Basically, it’s a DIY restaurant; you get a swipe card when you enter and you can immediately go to the bar to find drinks and order your food at the next station, the barman and waiter staff will swipe your card. Once done you will hand your card to the front desk and your bill will be ready. It was a lovely experience and the staff were exceptionally friendly (this has become so rare nowadays).

They are also planning to have a man-cave rooftop summer vibe which will include a tattoo artist and barber with a DJ – this sounds really entertaining and I’m sure us ladies can get part of the fun too. The food was REALLY tasty, I had a cheeseburger and chips and Claud had 400g ribs and salad (obviously once I saw his ribs I regretted choosing a burger).

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Peppermint fridge tart recipe

Peppermint fridge tart recipe

Hey guys, thanks for coming to take a look at my latest post which is super easy and yummy – two words which I think, all of us LOVE to hear.

Fridge tarts are the best for those who are a bit apprehensive about making desserts which require time in the oven, so I am thinking maybe I will load a few more of my favourites.

Peppermint tart is a classic South African dish and I doubt there is any person who can resist a bite…

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet tennis biscuits
  • Approximately 2 tablespoons butter
  • 250 ml fresh cream
  • 1 tin caramel treat
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1 giant slab of Peppermint Crisp Chocolate

Method:

Empty the tennis biscuits into a plastic packet and beat the shizz out of it until all the biscuits are broken and crumbly, once done place in your serving dish.

In a little bowl/cup melt the butter and add the melted butter to the crushed biscuits, incorporating the butter evenly and patting down until a solid base is formed. You can then set this aside.

In a separate bowl whisk the cream until stiff or stiff-ish – I added sugar to the cream, as I prefer a slightly sweeter whipped cream flavour but you can leave out the sugar completely, it doesn’t make a huge difference.

Next, add the entire tin of caramel and fold into the whipped cream. Chop up half of the chocolate slab and add to the caramel and cream mixture.

Once all is incorporated, spread the mixture onto your biscuit base and sprinkle the remainder of the chocolate onto the top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes – 1 hour and serve!

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Easy Roti’s (Indian Flatbreads)

Easy Roti’s (Indian Flatbreads)

The past two Sundays’ I found myself making curries, the first Sunday butter chikeeen and the next a lekke lamb curry.

I love me some roti’s hey, the feeling of eating with my hands and smothering the pastry in the curry sauce is just so good. Also after seeing one of my high school friends post her homemade rotis on Insta, I had to try.

I used to have a cool connection that made real, authentic, buttery, melt in your mouth roti’s that I could freeze and use as I needed to. I am assuming the more complicated recipes are the most authentic, where the butter is folded and rolled into the dough. The recipe I found is less time consuming, however, I will try the original version sometime.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (not self-raising)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2/3 cup water

Method:

In a bowl mix together the flour and salt. Add the melted butter. I used my hands for this part but you can use a fork to mix the flour and butter together until the consistency resembles crumbs. Add the water a bit at a time, stirring as you go along.

Once the dough pulls away from the bowl and is not super sticky (add more flour if too sticky), remove from the bowl and on a floured surface knead for about 6 – 8 minutes. Once done, divide the dough into approximately 6 balls.

Switch on the stove top and heat up your pan (high heat). While the pan is heating up start rolling out 1 of the balls very thinly – use flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your rolling surface. Also, try and roll the dough into a size that it fits nicely into the pan. I rolled mine too big and the sides were a bit raw on the first try.

The recipe I found says to add butter to the pan each time before adding one of the roti’s to give it that buttery taste and soft texture. I tried it this way – and it definitely works, but I also tried it without adding butter to the pan and the roti turned out good however not as golden brown and not as soft.

I know at Food Inn and Easter Bazaar in the CBD they add the melted butter and garlic once the roti is removed from the oven so I am guessing you can do this also – Let me know?

Add the rolled out dough to the pan, it should take about 30 seconds before you need to flip it to the other side until nice and golden brown.

You can toss it as many times to get the desired colour and until the flatbread is cooked properly. You will know when to flip as the side facing the heat will form bubbles and turn brown.

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Let me know if you would like me to post any of my curry recipes and I will gladly do so – I use so many spices that I haven’t posted any of these recipes yet.

Love

M

 

Rant: The Good Food and Wine Show

Rant: The Good Food and Wine Show

I think my luck has changed back into the green! I won tickets to the Good Food and Wine Show (GFWS) thanks to @CapeArgus and Lance Witten for the heads-up on his Twitter account.

A few years back I attended the event, I know it was fun because I cannot remember much due to the countless tastings we glugged down. This year, however, I did not have the same experience maybe because I’m not 23 anymore? Here are my hits and misses of the event:

HITS:

  • I got to meet Reza and take a picture, yes the Spice Prince of India! (I love his show).giphy (1).gif
  • Got some real schmancy looking wine glasses for R 150.00 which is a steal – retails for R 300.00.giphy (2).gif
  • Someone proposed on stage while J’Something was performing which was sweet to watch.giphy (3)
  • Found Jack Parow’s own handcrafted brandy – and it was surprisingly good.giphy (4).gif

MISSES:

  • My ticket didn’t include a glass – ended up paying R 60.00, R 60.00! for one glass.giphy
  • The glass included 7 “tasting coupons which really didn’t matter; the exhibitors didn’t want them or know about them?giphy (5).gif
  • The venue was packed, it was difficult to take pictures or walk around with a full glass of anything. This put us off from wanting to walk around or stand in line to try something new.giphy (6).gif
  • Maybe it was the time of day but the exhibitors weren’t the friendliest – could be fatigue?
  • Big wine farms weren’t on show i.e. Webersburg, Backsberg etc.
  • The GFWS was the same weekend as The Wacky Wine Festival – WHY!

In the end, it was an experience even though I feel a bit disappointed in the event. I tried some interesting pestos and chilli sauces, there were plenty of food options – but carrying around so many items and trying to find a place to sit down and eat would have been a nightmare. I believe in second chances so will try again next year!

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Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry

We’ve been making this for quite a while but I keep forgetting to take pictures (current picture is taken in my work lunchbox with a complimentary plastic fork), it is super easy and a taste bomb! You can use chicken, beef, seafood or go veggie – anything you like. Use any vegetables you want.

I know some like using store-bought Thai curry paste – I haven’t found a really good brand to use – let me know if you find a punchy ready made paste?

My version goes a li’l something like this:

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 onion
  • 1 thumb-sized chunk of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 handful coriander
  • 1 handful basil
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 1 cup green beans
  • ½ head of broccoli
  • ½ head of cauliflower
  • 1 tin coconut cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • Juice of ½ lime – optional (I know limes a crazy expensive OMW!)

Method

Cut the breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Fry in a bit of oil until almost cooked through – remove from the pan and set aside.

Chop up the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander, basil and bash the lemongrass stalk (doing this releases its flavour)

The whole process is pretty fast so I suggest that your green beans, cauliflower and broccoli are all chopped and prepped to be added. Also, open the tin of coconut cream and prepare the chicken stock. I’ve learned that prepping makes everything go much more smoothly; instead of flapping around the kitchen looking for things as you go along.

Add another dash of oil to the pan, fry the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander, basil and lemongrass stalk; until fragrant – about 2 minutes. Add the cooked chicken and mix.

Next in is the coconut cream and chicken stock, fish sauce, lime juice as well as the remaining veggies, reduce the mixture on a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

After about 8 – 10 minutes reduce the heat and simmer. I like my veggies a bit crunchy so I simmer until it’s the texture I prefer.

Taste the seasoning adding salt if necessary – and voila! Ready to serve!

I served mine with Jasmine rice – follow the packet instructions 🙂

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Pancake a, b, c

Pancake a, b, c

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After getting my Facebook Page sorted and Instagram account linked to this website, I am feeling confident about posting more recipes.

Jamie Oliver posted a pancake video on Instagram which only requires 3 ingredients and I was longing to give it a try. This was my First pancake attempt ever! I jazzed it up with a layer of Nutella, strawberries drizzled with honey, a lick of icing sugar and a dash of cream… It was F A B U L O U S!

Pancake Ingredients:

  • 125 grams flour
  • 3 x eggs
  • 250 ml milk

Mix until smooth, and voila! You have pancake batter! I used a ladle to pour the batter into a buttered pan on a medium to high heat. Tilt the pan to allow the mixture to spread out and allow it to cook – about 3 minutes if not less. Once the underside is golden you can then flip it and cook for another minute, once done remove from the pan and set aside.

And so you continue ladle after ladle…

A pancake can be a base for anything; savoury or sweet or even stacked high and dressed as a cake. Let me know how you like yours in the comments below 🙂

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Love

M

Easiest Dessert ever!!

Easiest Dessert ever!!

As promised, I have another Nigella inspired recipe and this one is REAL simple to make.

It’s a chocolate cheesecake and requires only 6 ingredients. British folk or I assume it’s only British folk because of all the Come Dine with Me shows I watch use “digestive biscuits” as a base for their cheesecakes but I am unsure what would be the equivalent for us so I used tennis biscuits.

To be honest I would use Oreos or another biscuit next time as I didn’t like the coconut flavour in the tennis biscuits however the topping is still tasty AF… so here goes:

Ingredients

250 grams biscuits

75 grams butter

400 grams Nutella

500 grams plain cream cheese

60 grams icing sugar

100 grams hazelnuts (optional)

Method

You can either go old school and crush all the biscuits in a plastic bag with a rolling pin (a wine bottle works too) or simply put it in the food processor. Melt the butter and add to the crushed biscuits, the texture of the biscuit/butter mixture, as Nigella puts it should be sandy. Press the mixture into your cake tin and refrigerate.

In another bowl mix the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth, add the Nutella until all is combined.

Remove the biscuit base from the fridge and top with the Nutella mixture. You can toast some hazelnuts, blitz them in the processor and sprinkle over your cheesecake. It looks pretty, adds texture and flavour.

The cake needs to set in the fridge for a minimum of four hours. And Voila! Done and dusted.

I don’t have a picture of a single slice but it looks pretty good and professional.

Let me know if you give it try, until later!

x

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Dark Chocolate Ganache Dreams

Dark Chocolate Ganache Dreams

How it started…

My SO and I have recently moved into our own apartment and have never lived on my own, actual cooking has not really been something I would think about daily. 

I was lucky enough to have DSTV for a few years and the cooking shows (looooved BBC lifestyle) sparked an interest in flavour, texture n all of those things we are now familiar with, however, apart from admiring the ooohs and aaahs, colours and imagining the taste I hadn’t tried cooking anything by myself apart from the occasional Saturday morning boiled egg and toast maybe adding some rocket for that creative flair lol! 
Now; having to be domesticated in the kitchen (meaning lots of dishes) and wanting to impress, I have made quite a few meals since September and even received compliments!
I have been thinking about doing a blog about my first time cooking / baking something new and will post about how it went and if I would change anything… It more than likely will not be perfect on the first go, but hey, this is what my blog is about. So bear with me as we experience my challenges, successes and failures.
I turned 30 on 09 May 2016 and trying to be all adult like I attempted to make a chocolate cake for friends or family who may come over and whoa! how great did it turn out!!
The below image is all the ingredients and utensils you will require, I forgot to add the cream in this pic, hence another below:

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Must be double thick cream, you can also use milk chocolate instead of dark…
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The measurements are as follows:

For the cake –

1 egg
1 cup sugar (I used brown sugar, only because it was all that was available in our cupboard)
About 170 ml full-fat yoghurt – as per the recipe I found it says not to use fat-free or low-fat yoghurt
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil (a cup is about 250 ml I’ve learnt)
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1/2 cup coffee – when using the coffee please ensure it has completely cooled down because if too hot when added to the mixture it will scramble the egg yuk!
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour (not self – raising as we are going to be adding baking powder or try it and leave out the baking powder let me know how it turned out 🙂 )
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 x Cake bowl / holder / tin 

For the chocolate ganache –

Approx 250 g dark chocolate or milk chocolate
3/4 cup double cream

Method –

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Line your cake tin with foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside
In your mixing bowl (make sure its big enough), combine the egg, sugar, yoghurt, oil, vanilla and whisk until smooth
Add coffee and cocoa powder and whisk vigorously until combined and lump free
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What you see are bubbles, not lumps… in case you’re wondering
Next add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and whisk until combined
Pour the now fairly runny batter into your cake tin, and place in the oven for approximately 25 mins. I used a toothpick after 25 mins to check if it is done – the toothpick should come out clean after inserted in the middle of the cake

 

Once done, allow the cake completely before adding the ganache (about 30 – 40 mins, yes I know it’s a looong time before we get the delicious goodness) 

For the ganache –

Place your chocolate pieces in a big enough bowl – as we still need to add the cream
Heat the cream in the microwave for about 1 min or until it starts to boil
Pour heated cream over the chocolate pieces and whisk quite vigorously until the mixture is smooth and velvety hmm,

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Allow the ganache to cool and once ready pour over the now cooled cake
At this point, you get to lick the whisk and bowl 🙂
Allow the ganache to set on top of the cake for about 30 mins or if you absolutely cannot wait anymore place the cake in the fridge or freezer briefly.
Taaadaaaa!! You left with a beautiful, shiny chocolate cake ready for all to enjoy! and believe me, you WILL get all the praise… start charging if peeps want more haha!

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Things I’ve learnt while making this beauty:

  1. Wear an apron!
  2.  Take pics of your chocolate child, I should have taken a pic of the first slice also but  didn’t get that  far
  3. Because I used dark chocolate I served it with vanilla ice cream to balance the bitterness of the chocolate, however, if you using milk chocolate I don’t think this is necessary. I am a dark chocolate lover and because it was my birthday I only thought about myself 🙂

Hope you enjoyed my FIRST post!

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M