Tag Archives: garlic

Rich & hearty beef stew

28 Jan

chopped onion onion

On a very crisp and cold day, the only route to take is by following the aroma of a indulgent, warm & juicy stew!! Now come on, two things that I know everyone loves – stew and pie! You’ve had your treat for lamb pie, so I’m thinking today we’re moving on to a slightly healthier dish. Believe it or not, but this is a very lean dish due to the cut of the meat.

mushroom

The only catch is it cooks in the oven for about an hour, which will cause a little bit of repetition when it comes to the age old question of “when is the food ready?” This carnivore of mine is quite impatient when it comes to stews.

onion

As soon as he hears that word or even gets a slight whiff of those cooking juices, its game over!!! He wants it right away!!! Alas, there is a very good reason why the saying “good things take time” is used so often, so be prepared to get badgered by the family and friends in your home.

mushrooms and butterAs soon as they get the whiff of this stew, you’re going to wish you never told them you were making it!

Rich & indulgent beef stew

Ingredients

1 onion, roughly chopped

4-5 big mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 x packs of lean beef chunks

1 x tin of chopped tomatoes

1 x  pack of 500g green beans cut to mid-size pieces

2 x tablespoons of tomato paste

2x teaspoons of ground coriander

1 x teaspoon of crushed garlic

1 x tablespoon of butter

1 x tablespoon of olive oil

2 x Oxo beef stock cubes ( if you’re in SA, only use one stock cube)

1/2 glass of dry white wine

1 x teaspoon of sugar

salt & pepper to taste

2 x tablespoons of all purpose flour

1 x sprig of fresh rosemary

chopped mushrooms

Add the olive oil to a casserole / Le Creuset dish ( or any type of heavy bottomed dish that can go from stovetop to oven) Start frying your onions and mushrooms. After about 5 minutes, add the coriander and cook for another few minutes until golden brown.

ground cumin

Scoop it out and place in a separate bowl. Take your beef and dab it with paper towel. Sprinkle the flour over the beef and mix it through.

beef chunks

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

beef chunks

Melt the butter in the casserole dish and brown the beef.

beef chunks

Re-add the onion and mushroom mix to the beef.

tomato paste

Mix through. Add the tomato paste & garlic and mix through.

tomato paste

Increase the heat, add the white wine, mix through and add the chopped tomatoes.

beef stock cubes

Crumble the beef cubes over and mix through.

beef stock cubes

Place the rosemary sprig on top.

green beans

Put the lid on and place it in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the green beans and mix through.

green beans

Place back in the oven without the lid and cook for the remaining 20 minutes.

beef stew

As soon as you remove it from the oven, add the sugar and mix through.

beef stew

Have a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

beef stew

Serve with steaming basmati or wild rice.

beef stew

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Buttering up with a butternut soup

18 Jan

butternut

London is in its typical winter mood. Icy cold, a bite in the wind that you cant shake off and that ongoing darkness. This will be something that our friends happily forgot when they moved back from Spain to London. True to my style, I wasn’t too happy to go outside today, seeing its weekend and all and its freezing!!!

butternut pieces

Glancing at my little vegetable stand, I had two butternuts peeking at me. Butternut soup? When last did we have that?! Well, needless to say, I just had to mention “butternut”t to the big old lion and he was sold!  I can’t say the same for my friend Franco. When I mentioned it, he half-heartedly pulled a face and mentioned that it is not really one of his favourites. I can tell you one thing, he ended up asking for seconds. I didn’t even manage to photograph the soup, it was finished before I got the chance to do so. New things DO happen daily in London! Just ask my new soup fan!

whole vegetables

Butternut, orange and coconut soup

2 butternuts, peeled and roughly chopped

Teaspoon olive oil

2 red onions, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

250ml coconut cream or coconut milk

500ml chicken stock

juice of half an orange

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

salt & pepper to taste

red onion, vegetables, butternut soup

Gently fry the onions in the olive oil until soft and sweet. Add the butternut, salt, pepper and cumin. Mix through for about 5 minutes while it cooks and infuses with the onions.

chopped vegetables

Add the chicken stock. Allow to boil until the butternut is nice and soft.

coconut cream and stock

Now, add your coconut cream and mix through.

crushed garlic

Finally, add your orange juice, mix through. Blend till smooth with stick blender or blender.

cumin

soup

Serve with a squiggle of fresh cream drizzled in the soup and some warm, crusty bread.

soup

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

 

 

 

Follow with a beefy celebration roast

1 Feb

If you read my previous post, you will know that I am focusing on recipes that I created when I made our Christmas Feast. My tarzan is still dreaming about this. I always thought that I will never meet anyone else that enjoys a roast as much as him, but that was until I met our friend Daniel and his wife Emily. These two are from Venezuela, and I am telling you, they probably love their meat just as much as South Africans, if not more!

This was one of the reasons why we had such a meat feast on Christmas day, yes, my feeder symptoms are getting worse!

I remember the first time I had to cook a beef roast – I was terrified! From when I can remember, I have never seen my mother, or anyone else for that matter cook a beef joint. I think it is just not a popular choice in SA. However, I quickly found out that over here it is on top of the list! The secret to cooking a big beef joint is to make sure it is still pink inside.

The first time – I made the mistake to cook it as you would a pork shoulder – for a few hours.  With a beef roast, it only needs a maximum of an hour ( in my opinion), depending on the size. You guessed it, today I will share my beef roast recipe! If, as in my previous post, you DO have the time, take 200ml of the wine from the recipe, pour over the joint, cover with cling film and allow to marinate in the fridge overnight.

Coriander beef roast

Coriander beef roast

 

Coriander, rosemary and red wine Beef Roast

1 x Beef roast joint (2-3kg)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 1/2 tablespoons of whole coriander seeds, roughly ground in a mortar & pestle

400ml red wine (preferably Shiraz)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

3 sprigs of  fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons of chopped garlic

pinch of salt

pinch of black pepper

1 large onion

Something that I have learnt over the last year ( which most of YOU probably knew already) is that it is always good to remove your meat from the fridge at least 30 – 45 minutes before you start preparing it to go into the oven. Its almost like the texture and flavour changes because of this. So, remember to take it out of the fridge. If you have marinated it overnight, remove it from the red wine, pat dry with kitchen towel and place on a work surface.

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celcius. Get your roasting tin. Cut your onion in half. Place both, cut side down, along each other in the tin ( the distance of the size of your beef joint) as this will be the “foundation blocks” for the joint. The joint’s ends will be placed on the onion halves, allowing it to be lifted from the tin slightly.

Red wine coriander beef roast

Red wine coriander beef roast

Take all your spices (excluding the rosemary), salt & pepper and mix with the olive oil and garlic in a bowl. Now comes the messy part – scoop the mixture into your hands and massage it all over the joint. Place the joint on the onions. Now, pur the 200ml red wine ( or 400ml if you didn’t marinate overnight)  around the joint and toss the fresh rosemary in the wine, around the joint.

Cover with foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Then, remove the foil, baste the beef with the red wine juices and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Meat Feast

Meat Feast

 

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

Chutzpah chicken!!

23 Aug

Or… now that I think of chicken.. wobbly chicken neck!!! This is my new name for my fellow passengers on the train in the morning. A floppy chicken neck as their sleeping heads move with the train’s rhythm, which I might add has become very entertaining in the morning. That is the lifestyle here at the moment. It seems like everyone’s lifestyle has increased with (dare I say it) the speed of Usain Bolt’s world record! No time, only rushing.. everywhere.. the whole time…so maybe the “headless chicken” is a better comparison for the last few months. Tonight I want to make a dish with some chutzpah!

 

Something that will make me slow down, smell the food, taste it, relax and enjoy! Usually, it is really busy, but I still find time to photograph my food, think about recipes and actually do my blog posts. I have decided to do this today, no matter how tired I am or what time it is. This is my little energy patch.. it keeps me smiling and happy and inspired J So just because I focused myself to do a post tonight, I am inspired with a new idea! Or not.. maybe just in the mood for comforting home cooking… to be honest.. my mom’s cooking. This brings me to say that she is coming to visit… So I am sure mom will spoil her “babies” once she is here J Hoorah!! Cant wait!!!

 

Some leftover red wine.. some chicken thighs.. some mushrooms.. olives.. why don’t I just toss them all together and make a little party dish.. since it is almost Friday.. AND since this will be a long weekend J

 

Celebration Chutzpah Chicken

 

1 pack of chicken thighs

2 handfuls of mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 red onion, roughly chopped

1 heaped teaspoon of chopped garlic

Handful of fresh thyme

Handful of olives

1 cup of red wine

1/2 cup of white wine

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 tablespoons of corn flour

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Add olive oil to a heated casserole dish like Le Creuset or anything similar. Brown your chicken. Remove and place aside.

Now add your onion, mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook until the onions are browned. Now, add your chicken and mix through. Add salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle over the cornflour and mix through.

Now, add the red wine, cover and simmer on medium heat for about 45 minutes. 10 minutes before you dish up, add the olives. Quick and happy all in one casserole dish!!  Serve with rice… and maybe a few glasses of full bodied red wine ;-p

 

Catch a “falling” chicken… put it in your “pocket”

31 Mar

save it for a rainy day.. because all us have a day like that sometimes – tired, no time, you have to cook supper, but you have no idea and you dont even know where to start. Start with the recipe in your “imaginary pocket” and make some chicken pockets 🙂

I thought of this last night, because Conan made supper, because this eager beaver went to the gym.. returning in pain.. AGAIN. So I noticed he purchased little coriander & garlic pita pocket breads… naturally I have to use them tonight.  So cute don’t you think.. pocket breads 🙂

Literally, I suppose if you wrap them in foil, they will fit perfectly into your pocket and it really is saving for a rainy day, when you need to take lunch to work, unless it is all finished in one evening, which happens almost every night in our household.

This is a recipe that really is easy, believe me, especially if I thought it up trying to think of no effort tonight ;-p

Feeling the effects of a slight flu today, I want to cook something tasty, AND different, because there is a certain someone that says he is so spoiled, he doesn’t know what to answer when I ask him what he feels like for supper. His usual answer : ” I dont know, I’ve had everything, I dont feel like anything” . SO – in a way, this is  motivation really… I have to think of something different to make everytime… until Conan, big man of the household yearns for his favourite dishes again and I can rely on my memory.

Well… that day is not today, so for everyone that has a rainy day – today or any other day when you need inspiration, or you have to make something quick… take this chicken recipe from your “pocket”

Mediteranean chicken pockets

2  1/2  tablespoons of houmous  per pita/ naan bread

2 avo’s cut into bite sized pieces

2 handfuls of broccoli, steamed

1 cup of roasted peppers

1/2 hanful of feta cheese per pocket 

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

1 teaspoon of chicken spice

salt & pepper for seasoning

2 handfuls of mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 red onion / brown onion, roughly chopped

1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of fresh mint, finely chopped

1 pack of chicken breast fillets, cut into bite sized pieces

 1 handful of watercress

Garlic & Coriander Naan/ Pita breads or plain pita breads

Olive oil for drizzling

Add your olive oil and garlic to a heated pan. Add your onions and fry gently for 10 minutes. While this is frying, preaheat your oven to 160 C . Place your pita breads in the oven to warm… but keep an eye om them, they can burn easily.

Now, after the onions have cooked for 10 minutes, add your mushrooms to the pan and fy for about 7 minutes. Add your chicken and chicken spice. Cook the chicken until almost done, and add your sundried tomatoes and mix through. Now add the roasted peppers and the broccoli and mix through gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut your pita pockets open halfway, allowing enough space to place your filling inside.

Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.

Take half of the houmous and put it in the pita.

Now, add your filling – chicken, mushrooms and onion.

Take the other half of the humus and layer it over the chicken filling.

Top off with the avo, watercress, feta and some of the mint. Season with black pepper and salt.

You can serve it with a plain and simple side salad. How quick was that… and almost no washing up  🙂