Tag Archives: salt

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

 

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Pièce de résistance … Home Grown Tomato tart

25 Aug

We should actually have a whole chapter on tomatoes, as my crop just keeps on giving and giving.. in the most famous and often used words of themost critical and only food taster in this house “The gift that keeps on giving”! However, there is something about tomatoes – the possibilities with these bright and beautiful red fruits are just endless! I read somewhere ( don’t ask me where, my memory is getting rusty)  something that actually just made my day – “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato”. Don’t you just love that, I feel like I am living on my own farm already!!

After talking about this tomato tart for quite a few weeks, I decided to actually just go for it!! After all, there will always be more tomatoes, and since we haven’t had tart within a week, I suppose, why not? I think it turned out so well, I heard new “hmmmmmm” noises from my hungry tiger that I haven’t heard before, and as always, the very famous ” beauuuuuuutiful”! I don’t actually know in what type of category it will fall in, because it has egg and cream, but just a touch, and it has 2 different cheeses. Maybe we should just call it “my french tart” since, it is after all, the Pièce de résistance!! It’s a real beauty, and why not, it is even my favourite colour!! There is always something exciting and daring about red! ;-p

Home Grown Tomato Tart

14 medium tomatoes, finely sliced / 10 large tomatoes

Olive oil for drizzling

salt & pepper to taste

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 cup of feta cheese

2 red onions, sliced in rounds

25g of butter and extra for greasing

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

2 twigs of thyme

1 pack of short crust pastry

Flour for dusting

1 fluted tart tin

45ml cream/soya cream

1 egg

Spread your tomatoes out in a tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes. While this is roasting, melt your butter in a pan, add the garlic and slowly fry your onions on a low heat.

You just want them to slowly and slightly carmelize and turn soft, juicy and sweet. When your tomatoes are ready, your onions will be ready 🙂 Dust your surface with flour and roll out your pastry. Grease your tart tin. Place your pastry in the tin and prick with a fork. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Take half of your parmesan cheese and sprinkle on the pastry. Now, layer it with your onions. Sprinkle half of your feta cheese over the onions. Now place your tomatoes over the feta and layer them properly. Crumble the remaining feta over the tomatoes.

Layer the remaining tomatoes over the feta. Sprinkle with the thyme. Beat your egg and cream together. Pour it over the filling. Now sprinkle over the rest of your parmesan and place in the oven for 15- 20 minutes or until golden brown. What a lovely little surprise!! Enjoy with a crisp and fresh green salad 🙂 Just a thought…. my camera’s battery died, so these are dirty, disgusting blackberry photos, apologies, I know, it will NEVER happen again!! 😉

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!

Monday Pig out pie

8 Aug

Hello my foodie friends! I think after this weekend, we almost knew what “gluttony” meant. I won’t be suprised if we develop little piggy tails! We enjoyed a pork barbeque with a lovely bread and olive and goats cheese. The next day we had larger than life pizza’s and on Sunday I prepared a lovely sticky and sweet pork shoulder with rice, corn and a radish salad. How does it not come close to being as greedy as 2 little piggies?

I suppose we love food so much, we can never be guilty of gluttony ;-p We enjoy it too much and definitely appreciate it. Naturally,even after all of this indulging, there was some leftover pork. Yes I know, even I do not feel like taking photos of everything and took a back seat on the blog over the weekend.  This is good, it means I will make it again, just to share that lovely pork shoulder.

So, back to the leftovers – I wanted to make a simple and light stirfry, but alas, so enters the lion man! He wanted a pork pie! He can’t say no to a pie! Also in this message, he “matter of fact” mentioned he would like to have mushrooms with it and a tasty little sauce.“Recipe brain” going in overdrive! Needless to say he had to pick up puff pastry from the grocer on his way home… well he was the one that wanted pie! ;-p

I suppose it is a comfort food for many. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like pie. I think the love for it lies in the lovely and rich butter pastry. So while I am sitting at work I am working on a little non-fat pastry recipe in my head. Well hey, who wants that?? The whole point of  pastry is to be rich, creamy and warm, creating an unknowing smile on each face enjoying this indulgence! That is always the joy and greatest reward of cooking to me. I also have to create a “cement of fame block” for the hubby as he was the genius that came up with tonight’s title. He won’t admit it, but he is always curious about my writing ;-p

I am sure he will be showing this to his work colleagues tomorrow ;-p  And before I start, remember, the main ingredient in food is love. Especially in this dish, there was plenty. My hubby put his hand to rolling out the pastry for the pie – he managed really well 🙂 Soon, I will have my own assistant ;-p

Monday Pig out pie

sunflower oil for cooking

1 pack of puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

Handful of mushrooms, rougly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped & 1/2 red onion roughly chopped

Reserve of your “gelatin” from your leftover pork / 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of soya sauce

2 tablespoons of apple pickle / apple chutney

1 courgette, roughly chopped

1 green/ yellow pepper, roughly chopped

2 cups of leftover pork, cut in bitesize pieces

Salt & pepper to taste

Preaheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Heat a frying pan and drizzle with oil. Add your “gelatin” / sauce mixture. Now add your onions and fry for about 8 minutes. Add your courgette. Fry for another 8 minutes and now add the mushrooms, yellow pepper and pork. Finally, add your pickle. Mix through and allow to simmer. Season with salt to taste.

Grease a pie dish / tin. Roll out your pastry and place one half in the pie dish. Scoop in your pork mixture. Top off with the remaining pastry.

If you have any pastry left, cut out little hearts with a cookie cutter and place them on top of your pie – this extra loving creates a better taste, I promise! ;-p

Finally, brush your pie with the beaten egg, so that it can turn lovely and deliciously golden in the oven 🙂 Bake it for 30 – 45 min until golden brown. 🙂  And if you’re anything like the hubby, serve a salad with it 🙂

 

 

 

 

Mashed like a fishcake

5 Aug

…..is what I feel like today. Yesterday’s blog didn’t happen – I blame it on the buses that never arrived, which caused me to walk home. I also have to add that I was wearing tights, a VERY short dress and shoes that I won’t say won the award for most comfortable walk. As I took my long and lonely walk home, I became irritated. I just want to get off the train, get on the bus and get home. Imagine my facial expression when someone whistled at me! In that split second that it took to think about the face I was going to make and what I was going to say, I saw an extremely dashing and handsome young man across the street.

It was fate, we met across the street from each other, each one on the corner ;-p  What I wouldn’t do to get his phone number! As it turns out, I have it already! Along with this happiness, I saw a mischievous GLARE coming from the hubby’s face! He knew if it was anyone else whistling at me I would blow my top. This little surprise naturally improved my mood. How blessed I am to be so in love with my very handsome husband. “What a dashing young lad”, as my neighbour Ave (who has a huge crush on the hubby by the way) would often say.

Needless to say, I rustled up a very quick pasta, sorry guys, I will make it again and take photos and post. So last night I was “woman down”.  In better terms, exhausted. The life was sucked out of me and I still feel like this today. And so enters….. the mashed up fish cake! My mood, my brain and my body! So which better route to take than to eat some fish and hopefully you will have the speed and strength of a tuna to carry on ;-p

Of course, there are easier and quicker ways to enjoy a fish cake, but alas, the hubby wont even touch it. Home-made, however is a completely different story. Also, if you think how difficult it is to catch tuna, I suppose it shouldn’t be too easy to prepare and eat it:  “It’s hard to catch one, but it’s my favourite kind of fishing,” says Robby Coad of Edgartown, a commercial fisherman and charter captain. Tuna have incredible vision, Robby explains, and they’re fast. “They can swim over fifty miles an hour, so it’s easy to lose them, especially when they’re on the line and scared. It’s hard to do and you don’t get them every time you go.”

I also think it will give a different take on tinned tuna, using them for fishcakes. It tastes great, fresh, and healthy and it is affordable. How often does one enjoy fresh, home made fishcakes? As often as one finds fresh tuna in the shops and that is never! ;-p So, as they say, there is always a first. Let’s hope I don’t make it the last! I’m going to do a slightly different take on the tuna fishcakes than one normally would. I am going to use butter beans as a base. You can use mashed potato as well, but I think butter beans might add a lovely flavour. To make this easier, create a little station at your preparation area in a row. Start your row with a bowl of flour, then a bowl with 2 eggs, beaten and lastly, a bowl with breadcrumbs. From there you can just put your fishcakes in the frying pan.

Salsa style tuna fish cakes

½ can of butter beans, drained

1 1/2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

½ red onion, roughly chopped

handful of coriander, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 can of tuna (chunks)

Half a chilli, roughly chopped and deseeded

Clove of garlic

2 eggs, beaten

Breadcrumbs for dipping

Flour for dipping

Salt & pepper to taste

Sunflower oil for frying

Corn

2 sweetcorn cobs

1 tablespoon of butter

Asparagus 

bunch of asparagus

1 teaspoon of garlic

1 teaspoon of butter

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of dry white wine

Salsa

handful of roasted cherry tomatoes

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of capers

Handful of coriander, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon of red wine/malt vinegar

4 slices of cucumber, finely chopped

Take your butter beans, tuna, chilli,onion, cumin, olive oil,coriander, mayonnaise and garlic and mix until fine, but not complete mush, in a processor. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Make little “patties” with your hands and put them through your prepared station. Coat both sides with flour. Dip in the egg and now dip in the breadcrumbs. Do the same with the res of the mixture and place in the fridge.

Boil water and cook your corn for 8-10 minutes.While this is cooking, start with your asparagus.Melt your butter in a pan, add the garlic and fry cook your asparagus. Add your white wine and lemon juice. Flavour with salt and pepper. Take your cooked corn, drain, cut them from the cob, mix through with butter and season to taste.

For the salsa, mix everything together, season with salt and pepper and allow to stand. Now, heat a frying pan and add your sunflower oil. Fry each side of your tuna cakes till they are golden brown and place in a bowl with a paper towl.

Now dish up onto a plate and top with your salsa. Serve with sweetcorn and cous cous, or simply on it’s own 🙂

She’s always a “hearty” woman to me…

11 Jul

Today’s post was inspired by my beautiful mother, which includes the song -“She’s always a woman to me” from Billy Joel. There was a recent add on tv from John Lewis and the way that they portrayed this woman, with the song, was almost a replica of my mother. It depicts how she met her husband, got married, worked, started and fed a family and how her life turned out… tune in, I will attach the video to my blog, just so all of you will know what I am talking about. This is the wikipedia explanation for Billy Joel’s song: “She’s Always a Woman” is a song from Billy Joel‘s 1977 album The Stranger. It is a love song about a modern woman, with whom he falls in love for her quirks as well as her flaws. Now, just to clarify this, my mother has NO flaws! She is the most perfect woman, and oh how I am blessed to have such a mother!

Ever heard of having your heart connected to another with a long string? That is what it feels like to me, with my mother in another country. Till this day, it amazes the hubby how my mother and I are connected. One example? I asked my mother one afternoon in a email what she was cooking that night and it turns out we were cooking the exact same dish, without even speaking to each other. We share everything, from cleaning tips to “calming down after the toilet seat was left up again” and how to make a wilting, dying plant grow again and flourish! So, this brings me to the rest of the inspiration for today, “harvest diaries”, a book I am reading about the daily chores on a organic wine and fruit farm. The way the writer describes her day is so similar to my mother. From when I was little, everything my mother grew, always flourished. She would tend to the garden, make fresh delicious food, be a shoulder to cry on, be a career woman,wife, mother, sister, a friend and make all of it seem so simple and easy. She puts her heart in everything, and that is why this blog is titled “hearty” woman to me.

In winter, we would come home and you could hear the fire crackling, which she lit earlier and smell a lovely waft of homemade lentil soup and fresh bread and when entering the kitchen be embraced by her in a warm hug. This is beauty to me. She can enjoy anything and everything, mend anything, cook anything and it is all a picture of love and contentment. Of course, I could never be close to this, but, I now live for planting flowers, herbs and vegetables, making our house a home, to cook something simple and turn it into a feast, and all the while,not thinking about not being a stick and embracing my curves, pale skin and loud personality, because this is who I am, and all of this came from my mother ( and of course I have to say my father ;-p) She showed me what is important in life. So, in her words, when I am not particularly feeling like the beauty prom queen I am ( wink wink) look at yourself in the mirror and say “hello you drop dead gorgeous, beautiful thing!”

Well, I don’t need that anymore, because I know that certain things aren’t worth fussing about. I would rather fuss about my Lentil soup and try and figure out what I would add to make it taste like something magical happened in my kitchen ;-p So on the menu today, Red split lentil soup and home made bread 🙂 This one is for you mom, still know I won’t be able to top your lentil soup, but I might come close!

Homemade bread

125ml warm water

15g instant yeast

250g strong white bread flour

1 teaspoon of salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

twig of rosemary

3 sundried tomatoes

Mix your yeast into your warm water. Set aside and allow it to stand for about 10 minutes, until it starts creating a thick froth. Sieve your flour and salt into a bowl.  Mix together with the yeast and olive oil and put it in your mixing bowl with a kneading hook. Put the machine on low and keep it going for about 10 minutes, adding flour and warm water if neccesary. The dough is correct if you touch it and it springs back immediately. Now, rub a bowl with olive oil and rub the dough ball around it. Cover with a cloth and blanket and keep in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours. Punch it back about 7 times and knead again for 4 minutes. Cover again and allow to rise double the size. Preheat your oven to 230 degrees celcius. Rub your loaftin with olive oil. Now place your dough in the tin. Push some rosemary sprigs in your bread, and put the sundried tomatoes on top. Grind some salt over. Now allow it to bake. It is done when it has a hollow sound when you tap it.

Red Split Lentil Soup

2 onions roughly chopped

4 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of sunflower oil

2 teaspoons of cumin seeds

2 teaspoons of curry powder

juice of 1 lemon

75g of strong mature cheddar, grated

4 teaspoons of red pesto

1.5 litre of vegetable or chicken stock

Grated parmesan for garnish

salt & pepper to taste

Heat a casserole saucepan with the oil and add your onion and cumin seeds. Fry for about 5 minutes and now add your curry powder.

Add your lentils and stock and bring to the boil. Squash your garlic slightly and add to the soup. After this, simmer your soup for about 30 minutes. Then, add the lemon juice, cheese and pesto and mix through.

Flavour with salt and pepper. Dish up, grate over some parmesan and enjoy with your freshly baked bread! Happiness! 🙂

And for those that would like to watch the add that I think resembles my mother, here you go 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYOsWWKHZVw

Colour me beautiful…because I’m worth it… (on a budget)

6 Jul

Colour! I am one of those that wake up in the morning and think of what colour I am going to wear… note, colour, not clothes! I believe that colour plays a great role in our lives. Who wants to wear black everyday!? For goodness sake, you’re not mourning your life away!! Besides the point, but whenever I have been on a budget, I will go and buy cheap, BUT colourful clothes and they have made me feel like a beautiful, spring flower! ;-p  After being at home for quite a while, I have relied on my colourful thoughts and creativity to come up with different and lovely colourful recipes.

I dare to say that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy colourful, delicious and beautiful food in your own home and this is a budget meal to prove it. We all deserved to be pampered.. and we’re all worth it.. aren’t we 🙂 This is where the hubby comes in…. Before we got married, he ate tuna almost every day. This also had to do with the fact that he was saving and unlike me will not spend most of his money on food… this reminds me again, all is not well up in my head. Anyway, there are a lot of things you can do with tuna, however, he is not really one for chopping and fussing and thinking about food the whole day like I do. When that beautiful tummy of his is full, he is happy, no jokes! Easy to please isn’t he! However, the hungrier he gets, the grumpier he gets, so no fantasizing about new recipes in his head!

After this loooooonng explanation, it comes down to the fact that half of our food cupboard is stacked with Tuna. And not just ANY tuna, note the “Tesco Value” label on the tuna tin ;-p…. wait for it… BUDGET!  This (most of the time) hungry man of mine, thought it quite clever to point it out to me that he can’t remember the last time he had tuna, which would imply the last time was probably before we were married! tsssk tssssk! This was definitely a suggestion ( in his own language) that we should start eating all this tuna. After all, some idiotic female singer once called it “chicken from the sea”, not that it is, but basically stating that there is a lot of protein in this. Healthy!

When I was small, my mom – and I’m sure most parents,  told me to eat my veggies and fruit because I’ll get bright, sparkly eyes, beautiful skin and hair like an angel…. (Not THAT magical, I thought it was like a magic potion and will turn you into a beautiful princess with long hair!) and stupidly enough, I still believe one little bite of fresh veg or fruit will make me beautiful!     ;-p What you put in you get out, right…. right?!!??

So after painting again, I almost wanted to paint with my food too!! I worked on this recipe in my head the whole day already…. cheap, crunchy, fresh, colourful and most of all, like the hubby would say… “beaaaauuuuuuutiful”!  Most of these ingredients all of you have in your fridge… besides radish. Probably the only reason why this was included in my choppy and cheeky tuna salad is because it has a beautiful pinkish-red colour!! I think this is one of the few vegetables that don’t really have a lot of taste, but combine it with the other ingredients and the apple and your hubby might think you put a spell in this special little bugger of a salad! Everything fresh and healthy, so no guilt here.. only more beauty! Watch out for the curly hair and rosy cheeks! After all, you’re worth it!  ;-p

1 pack of back bacon

1 spring onion

handful of cherry tomatoes, halved and halved again

1 carrot grated with a vegetable peeler

1 baby gem lettuce or any salad leaves of your choice

5 small radishes, finely sliced

1 apple, finely sliced

1 tin of tuna chunks in brine

handful of crumbled feta

Dressing:

handful of mint, chopped

5 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of vinegar

3 tablespoons of mayonaise

1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard

juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Put your bacon on a tray and grill in the oven until crispy. Put aside to cool. Wash your lettuce and shred it in a beautiful bowl. Add your cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes and apple. If you’d like, drizzle your apple with a little bit of lemon juice, it will prevent it from going brown.

Now break the tuna slightly apart to toss in your salad.

For the dressing, add all the ingredients together in a shaker and shake it all about!! If your bacon is cooled down by now, break it up in little pieces and scatter in the salad.

Toss the salad around with your hands. Lastly, drizzle over your salad dressing and enjoy with some lovely freshly baked ciabatta! 🙂