Tag Archives: dry white wine

Our final Christmas celebration post.. who’s chicken

4 Feb

After all the meaty posts, I would think you would be happy to see something fresh like a salad! No such luck folks! There is a joke that is well known under Afrikaans South Africans that love their meat – ” I love meat, if I wanted  vegetables, I would have had chicken”, which basically explains that since the chicken eats a few lettuce leaves etc, you still get your veggie part of “five a day”!

Well, besides vegetarians –  who doesn’t like chicken! I don’t think you can really go wrong with it, unless you overcook it so badly it looks like cardboard prop food! So, DONT do that! ;-p I hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas special!

I always buy chicken quarters as I find that the drumstick part keeps the thigh part moist.. maybe its just an illusion, but this chicken is one of my favourite dishes!

Garlic Mediterranean chicken

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 x packs of chicken quarters (5-10 pieces)

500ml dry white wine

3 X whole  garlic , taken apart (skin on)

1 whole garlic, cut in half, skin on

2 x handfuls of fresh thyme

juice of 1 1/2 lemon

salt &  black pepper to taste

Browned chicken quarters ready for the oven

Browned chicken quarters ready for the oven

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celcius. Heat the olive oil in a pan and allow to become nice and hot. While this is heating up, season your chicken with salt and pepper. Place your chicken top side down in the olive oil. All the pieces need to be browned untill quite crispy, so turn when needed.

Transfer the chicken to an oven roasting dish, making sure all the juices of the chicken are transferred as well. Take the whole garlic, cut in half and place the cut side, facing down, in the roasting dish among the chicken. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken.

Season the chicken slightly with salt and black pepper again.Pour the white wine in the roasting tin, around the chicken. Add the loose garlic cloves to the white wine around the chicken, even placing some of them ON the chicken. Sprinkle big pieces of thyme on and around the chicken.

Christmas lunch meat celebration

Christmas lunch meat celebration

Place in the oven and cook for 45 – 50 minutes, until juices run clear, transfer to a serving dish, pour the juices in a little jug for gravy juice and there you go, wiola!

Beloved friends and good food

Beloved friends and good food





A move(d)able feast

30 Jan

Again, I am behind on my entries. I have been saving my favourite one as a little “cheery up” tool for myself in this dull grey London. Usually, when we dont travel to South Africa to spend Christmas with our family and loved ones, I invite all our friends in London that are here over Christmas, including our only family, my sister in law, and I revel in the fact that I will have a big, decorated table groaning under all the food that I have prepared with love the whole morning.

Usually I start planning the menu and designing it about 2 months before christmas. This ensures that I can still send out invitations in plenty of time before everyone gets hustling and bustling around. Naturally, it was crazy with everyone around and making sure everything is ready.. so taking photographs of all the dishes was not very high up on my list. However, over the next week or so I will be posting recipes from some of the other dishes from our Christmas feast!! For now, I think I will start with the lamb.. Celebration Lamb

Christmas Feast

Celebration lamb

1X 250 ml buttermilk
1 X leg of lamb ( 2-3 kg)
2 hands of pitted, green olives
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of herbes’ d Province

2 teaspoons of ground cumin
juice of one lemon
500ml of dry white wine
1 sprig of rosemary
160 Degrees Celcius

If you have time  to leave the meat to marinate overnight – then you will be using the buttermilk. Take your leg of lamb and place it in a fitted dish that can fit in your fridge. Now, pour the buttermilk over the lamb, checking that it is covered all over. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge over night. The next day, when you are ready to start on the lamb, make sure you remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before you start on it. Rinse the lamb, making sure you remove all the buttermilk and pat dry with paper towel. Place the lamb in a roasting dish.

Take a very sharp knife with a small, fine end, and start piercing small holes deep eoungh to push the pieces of garlic in, about 10 – 12 holes. Now, divide your garlic slices between the holes you pierced. Make sure that the garlic slices are quite deep in the pierced holes, so they won’t fall out.Pour the lemon juice over the lamb. Take the olive oil, rub it between your hands and massage into the lamb. Now, grind over salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the herbs and cumin over the lamb and massage into the lamb. Take your sprig of rosemary and place it in the middle of the lamb in one of the holes that were pierced.

Leg of lamb

Leg of lamb

Toss your olives around the lamb and pour over the white wine. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 1 hour. After one hour, scoop the juices from the roasting dish and baste the lamb with the juices. Cover with the foil again, cooking for another 40 minutes. Remove the foil, baste again and place in the oven for a final 30 minutes, and your done!

christmas lunch decoration

christmas lunch decoration

“Flat” out cheating lasagne

21 Apr

I have been feeling cheated. Cheated by time. Who gets home, cooks supper and goes to sleep barely having an hour or two ( in our case, none)  to chat with the one that gives you that sparkle in your eye? I feel cheated as some magic, miniature magician has been sitting on the clock and moving it with its little hands every time I look away. How unfair is this? Someone must be cheating somewhere!

By the looks of it, you can see my camera and fingers aren’t working either as I could barely remember my blog password from rejecting my little baby for so long!! No time people… no time!! 😦   Another thing that I feel cheated by is my eye cream… who is to decide to write on the label that it makes you look “fresh faced”? The only thing that makes me look fresh faced is the ever so strikingly pale colour of my skin that seems to glow from “whiteness” when I walk in the cold to the bus stop… with PUFFY eyes…yay for eyecream….

So, why not try and trick time and cheat as well?? That is what this lasagne dish is all about. Quick, tasty and happy… with loads and loads of mushrooms!!! All for mushrooms… Aye!

6-8 lasagne sheets ( or more, your own preference)

1 large punnet of small button mushrooms, some halved, some whole

25g salted butter

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

1 brown onion chopped

150ml of chicken stock

30ml of dry white wine

5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

150ml cream/soya cream

parmesan cheese to grate

big ball of buffalo mozzarella

salt and pepper to taste

Place your butter in a heated saucepan and allow to melt. Add a drop of olive oil and this will prevent the butter from burning. When the butter is melted, add the onions. Allow the onions to “carmelize” over low heat. As the onions seem to become softer, add your mushrooms and garlic.

Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat. Now, turn the heat up and add your chicken stock and white wine. Leave uncovered and allow to simmer down for about 10 – 15 minutes, until the liquid has halved.

Taste and season with salt if needed. Now, add half of your thyme ( take the leaves off the little twigs). Mix through with love and add the cream. Allow to simmer for about 7 minutes to allow the thyme to infuse in the mushroom mixture.

While it is simmering, place your lasagne sheets in salted, boiling water. It should cook in about 8-10 minutes, depending on how you like the texture. When this is done, you’re just about ready 🙂

Place one lasagne sheet on a plate. Dish over some mushrooms and tear some mozzarella and place on top of the mushrooms. Now place a lasagne sheet over this again. You will keep going until you are happy with your “tower”. Just like layering normal lasagne.. this just doesn’t go in the oven.

When this is done,drizzle some of the sauce on it and top it off with some freshly grated parmesan and black pepper. Easy peasy, cheaty weasy!!

Do you feel like slowing down.. then do and make it tasty

22 Feb

with a very helpful slowcooker! Compliments of my friend Amanda Celliers! I WOULD say that this great gift is my new best friend, but that would be lying, as she has helped me through many frustrating days in a VERY boring working environment. So I have been testing this little wonderful invention a few times, and I think I might just have perfected it 🙂 This also becomes very helpful when budgeting, because you can buy very cheap cuts of meat and it comes out tasting like richman’s food!! Well.. I have always felt rich, I suppose it depends on what you add value to, and to me that would be great friends, good food and laughter. Most of all, Love. My Johnny Bravo makes me feel like a princess so often, I might even be one ;-p That would be without the hourglass barbie figure and perfect long hair ;-p

So here we go, let me educate you on my slow cooker education that I have recieved over the few days… and if in doubt, I always ask my friend Amanda which route to take, she has a lot of tips!!  If you don’t have a slow cooker, you could always use a pressure cooker, then the meat will probably be ready within about 30 – 40 minutes. If you are using the slowcooker, you will put all your ingredients in the cooker in the morning, before you leave work and put the setting on slow.

400g Beef skirt / Any cheap cut of meat

2 cans of beer ( I used Fosters)

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of salt

Black pepper

Place your beef in the cooker and season with the salt and some pepper. Now pour over your beer. Put on the lid and switch on your cooker, and when you come home, its succulent and tender, walla!!

So all I did now was make some veggies 🙂

1 courgette, finely chopped

1 big red onion ( 1 small one & 1 medium) finely chopped

1 teaspoon of chopped garlic

Juice of half a lemon

2 shots of dry white wine

1 tablespoon of olive oil

4 or 5 fresh asparagus

handful of finely chopped mint

Pour olive oil in a heated pan. Add your onion and fry for 5 minutes. Now add your courgettes and asparagus. Fry forabout 10 minutes, add your mint and add your lemon juice.

Allow to simmer for a few minutes and add the white wine.

Serve up with some rice, dish up your beef and your veggies and walla!!