Tag Archives: Basil

Porcini Mushroom Edemame Risotto

8 Feb

A perfect love affair! I’ve never met anyone that does not appreciate a good risotto. Its just always so moreish, no matter what you add to it. Its comforting, warm, creamy and it only takes 30 minutes to make! Yes, I know a lot of people tend to avoid making risotto, because they feel it takes too long and you have to “wait” for it. I don’t necessarily agree. The therapeutic part is when you stir, and that’s all you have to do. Give it the love it deserves and it will love you back three times more! Risotto is as flexible as pasta. You can add whatever you want. My favourite though, will always be a mushroom risotto. Especially with dried porcini’s it lends a slightly wild and rich, earthy taste to the dish. Whenever I have no idea what to cook and our fridge is empty from meat for a roast on a Sunday, I turn to risotto. Its always there for me in my food cupboard and it may just be the big lion’s best friend. If I have EVER seen someone eat copious amounts of risotto, that’s my man with his mouth filled to the rims! porcini

Porcini Mushroom Risotto


1 x pack of dried porcini mushrooms

1 cup of fresh, chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups of dry white wine

1 x teaspoon crushed garlic

2 x cups Arborio rice

1 pack of bacon, cut into small bite size pieces

1 x onion, finely chopped

60g butter

2 x tablespoons olive oil

juice of one lemon

salt & pepper to taste

1 x cup fresh soya / edamame beans

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan

1/2 cup of chicken stock.

500ml hot water

risotto Place the porcini mushrooms in a measuring jug. Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms and allow to stand. Meanwhile, add the butter and the olive oil to a wide,big pan. Gently fry the onions for until glassy. bacon Add the bacon and cook for about 5 – 8 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and mix through, making sure all the rice is glazed with the butter and olive oil. onion Pour in the white wine and mix through. When the liquid has almost been absorbed by the rice, add a little bit of the porcini mushroom liquid. lemon Stir through again. The secret to risotto is that you must keep stirring, and as soon as the liquid has been absorbed, you add some more again and keep stirring. Lemon juice Alternate your liquid with the chicken stock and the mushroom liquid. edamame beans For step by step, I borrowed a link from WikiHow to show those that might feel they’re not sure how much liquid to add at once etc. http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Risotto-Rice lemon juice When you have used half of the liquid, add the mushrooms and the soaked porcini mushrooms. edamame beans Mix through and keep stirring until all the liquid has been used. edamame beans Add the edamame beans and the lemon juice and mix through. risotto Taste the risotto and season with salt and pepper. risotto Mix through the parmesan cheese.Plate up and grate over a little more parmesan cheese, and tuck in! risotto


Insalata caprese –and become the bee’s knees!

9 Aug

Today, I see myself as the bee’s knees ;-p Freshly cooked dinner every night, working woman, wife extraordinaire… you bet ya! The reason for the self praise?? It’s women’s day in SA, and I might not be in South Africa, but I am still a South African! So happy Women’s day to me! :-p Come to think of it, from the riots that have been going on over here, if almost feels just like home! Ahhhh, nothing like violence, rage and angry, bored, uneducated people breaking everything down to give you a nice, warm and cuddly feeling inside!

Moving on…. this wont really be a caprese salad as such, but more like a bit of inspiration. I will be making a caprese style, baked wrap. The whole pastry thing won’t work as after last night, the man overindulged in his Monday pig out pie and feels he is up to something lighter today. So I will be using wholegrain wraps as a base for a style of a healthy pizza. I promise you, this will be a quick one and you will be enjoying a lovely meal in no time 🙂

After having little tomato trees with bunches and bunches of tomatoes on them, staying green, I thought this will be the last time that I grow tomatoes in England. However, I think they heard me, because all of a sudden they decided to pull on the red jackets! Now, I have so many tomatoes, I don’t know what to do! Originally, I wanted to make a lovely caramelized tomato, onion and feta tart. The beauty of the French…. well, back to earth – the hubby won’t enjoy that.

He’s had enough of pies….. and tarts for that matter, I mean they’re all over London – especially on the northern line ;-p So there goes my little brain spark for today… moving on. I will be using ALL my tomatoes, some leftover bacon in the fridge, fresh basil from my garden, some lovely and plump olives and of course, mozzarella. All of this will result in almost NO washing up, lots of vitamin C from the tomatoes, fluffy white clouds of mozzarella and rich indulgence of the bacon.. .. naturally, all of these lovely little friends = Pure and utter happiness!!  So by now, I am hungry and I really want to tuck in, so here we go with the recipe.

About 6-8 tomatoes, finely sliced in their little round form

250g of mozzarella

2 handfuls of fresh basil

2 handfuls olives black olives

Half a pack of bacon, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

4 large or medium wraps

1 Teaspoon of sunflower oil

Olive oil for drizzling

Preheat $your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Drizzle your oil in a heated frying pan. Start frying your bacon until done. Now, take your wrap and place one layer of
sliced tomatoes all over. Season with some salt and pepper.

Now add the rest of your ingredients.

Top off with some black pepper and place in the oven for about 15 – 20
minutes or until the wrap is nice, golden and crispy.

In the name of “Money Supermarket” – Simples!  Enjoy!

Red fiery chicken for a fiery lady…

10 Mar Red fiery chicken

You heard it!! Today, after we paid a reservation fee to put in an offer for the beautiful house we have our eye on, the landlord said it was too low. How greedy are these people? What if I deliver them some home made chocolate brownies? (Nadia daydreaming about delivering brownies and instantly recieving the keys to the house after the agents enjoyed a brownie!) Nope, no bribing here 😦

Then, after I recieved the bad news, add to this my “exciting” job for the day – phoning registars to confirm a client’s share certificates… all 22 of them, I started to conjure a little “fiery” recipe in my head for tonight’s dinner. Not to mention I still had to bake the cheesecake!

By the way.. while I am busy typing today’s blog, the cheesecake is baking in the oven, with the hubby laughing in the background for the “Mr T” add on tv! Yup, he loves that ad. Perfect housewife much? Wink wink!! So, this dish is a different take on butter chicken. It has a very mild flavour, with a little bite from the chilli – similar to my mood today ;-p However, it is the first time I thought of this and my man was the guinea pig! So if you make this dish, decide for yourself  🙂

7 Drumsticks

1 Leek, chopped

1 cup of ground almonds

1 chilli finely chopped

Basil oil / olive oil

2 bunches of fresh Coriander chopped

2 anchovies

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

2 teaspoons of garlic

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 handful of feta

1 tablespoon of cream / soya cream

Salt & black pepper

Served with rice and Zucchini ribbons

2 Zucchinis

1 teaspoon of butter

balsamic glaze

Heat a casserole dish and drizzle with your olive/basil oil. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for 2 minutes. Add your leeks and fry for 5 minutes. Now add your tomato paste,cumin and anchovies. Mix through and add your chicken and allow the chicken to brown slightly, but be careful for your garlic not to burn.  Add your ground almond and mix through. Now add your tin of tomatoes. Before throwing away your tin, half fill your can with water, mix around in the can so it catches the few juices still left in it and add to your casserole. Add half of your chopped coriander and mix through. Let it simmer for 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add your cream and crumble in the feta. Remove from heat.

Now, as a topping, grate your zucchini. Take one teaspoon of butter and place in small frying pan and let it melt. Add your zucchini and fry for about 5 minutes. Slightly drizzle with balsamic glaze and mix through. Season with salt.

You can make jasmine rice to go with your dish ( I still do the cheat of the packet rice since I am not allowed to eat rice) Lazy!! I know. So, dishing up, use the rice as your base, place the chicken and sauce on top, sprinkle with some chopped coriander and top with your zucchini ribbons. Enjoy!!