Tag Archives: Stock (food)

Sunday chicken pie.. with a try!

12 Sep

Naturally, it was sunday and I didn’t do much, while still having a cold and lying on the couch, with a whole chicken simmering in chicken stock in my la creuset pot, while we were proudly watching the Rugby World cup. It was an experience that was memorable. The first time we watch our country play the rugby world cup and we’re sitting in London. Just the two of us, and one chicken. I wish I could say Wales were playing chicken, but hey, they played hard!  I think this is why I believe, that maybe, just maybe if SA had some home made chicken pie, they might have scored another try! Yes, and then maybe we could have won with more than just one point! Well, you cant have everything. At least the spirit was there, and a home made chicken pie that could take both our colds away. This lovely and soothing chicken pie, added by the excitement from the world cup made our sunday memorable. We were just like tweedle doo and tweedle dum sitting on the couch together with our little plates of food ;-p  Enough with the pity party, I know you will enjoy this chicken pie and maybe while you enjoy it, maybe then, our team will score another try!!

1 Whole chicken – (mine was rubbed with butter and parsley – bought it like that)

1 litre of chicken stock

1 pack of puff pastry

1 large onion, roughly chopped

3 slices of bacon optional ( I had leftover from breakfast)

Handful of mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons of crushed garlic

1/4 cup of dry white wine

Juice of half a lemon

handful of crushed bacon kips of salted crackers like the ones in my picture 🙂

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of oil

1 egg, beaten

Bring to boil the chicken stock, with the chicken in a saucepan, until the meat falls off the bone. Allow to cool and remove the chicken from the bones, shred slightly with your hands and discard the skin and bones.

Make sure there aren’t any fine bones between the chicken. Reserve the chicken stock, you can always freeze it and use it in future for chicken soup.

Add the oil to a frying pan and add your onion. Fry for about 10 minutes. Now add your mushrooms. Cook until brown, but still firm and add your chicken and white wine. Mix through and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Taste and flavour with salt.Now add your lemon juice and bacon.

Allow to simmer for 5 mins.

Add 2 cups of the reserved chicken stock and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, mixing every now and then.

While this is simmering, take some flour and sprinkle over your work surface. Now roll out your pastry.

Place one part in the bottom, in a greased bowl/ tray. Now, mix through the crushed crackers in your chicken filling. Take your chicken-pie filling and scoop it in the dish.

Cover with the remaining pastry. I made 2 little hearts from extra pieces of pastry, it adds a little love ;-p Brush with your beaten egg.

Place in a preheated oven of 180 C and bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve with some veggies or salad, or if you were feeling as worn out and ill, nothing ;-p Just the good ‘ol chicken pie!


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 🙂


lazy lemon meatballs

5 Apr

The word “lazy” enters the vocabulary when I whip out my little Kenwood chopper!! This little beauty was another wonderful gift from the hubby!! Yes, I am spoilt rotten!! Add to this little gadget saving me time = quick happy hubby! Which might I add, allows me to finish my blog post quicker, as he feels this comes 1st instead of him ;-p So, in my haste I also accidentally deleted a few photos that I took.

Maybe this is a underlying problem from me wanting to clear all the clutter and extras away, as yet again, my day was filled with walking down the street with boxes again!! Also, I only had mince. Now there comes a time when meatballs with homemade tomato becomes more boring than all the women with their prams here in London ;-p So I had to think of something different and lighter.

A while ago, before I started my blog, I made mini meatballs with cumin, and found that this was a different alternative, however, still served it with tomato sauce and basil. This is a different take on meatballs, tasty, light and warm for the tummy and soul 🙂 No summer here yet!! So here we go:

Meatball mixture

250g mince

half onion, finely chopped in your processor

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of dried coriander

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon of cumin

pinch of salt

4 cream crackers, made fine in your processor so they are fine crumbs

1 egg, beaten


half a onion, finely chopped in your chopper

1 teaspoon of garlic

1 tablespoon of butter

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of turmeric

250ml of Chicken stock

1 teaspoon of cumin

Ok, so lets start with the meatballs. Place your mince in a bowl, add your spices, cream crackers and egg and lemon juice. Mix thorougly and make mini meatballs. Simples!! Now add your butter and garlic to the pan and the onion and all the spices for the sauce. Fry the onion for 5 minutes. Now add your meatballs. Let them fry and squiggle them around in the pan. Do not allow them to burn, but only brown them. Now add your chicken stock. Cook for about 15 – 20 minutes or untill cooked through.

I have served this with cous cous and finely chopped red pepper, courgette and harissa paste. I took 1 courgette and 1/2 a red pepper and chopped it in my chopper. Fine, but not too fine so that it turns into a paste. I drizzled the pan with a little bit of olive oil. Then take 1 teaspoon of  harissa paste and mix through in the pan. Now add your finely chopped courgette and red pepper. Fry for about 5 – 10 minutes. Now add a cup of cous cous. Mix it through so that it absorbs all the flavours. Flavour lightly with salt and vegetable spice. Now add a little bit of water, just enough for the cous cous to absorb it. Mix through so that the cous cous seperates. Now cover with a lid and allow to stand. The cous cous with now be done. Serve up with your meatballs and enjoy!

Killer Paella for the seafood addict ;-p

29 Jan

Firstly, before I even start telling you about this recipe.. put on some cuban or spanish music… it’s friday! Well, it was when I made my paella!! I came home, put on some cuban music (Putumayo) and poured myself a glass of white wine. The music however, is what put me in my element! Back home, my dad would put this on, playing from his huge speakers and automatically it would put you in a mood where you want to shake that booty your mama gave you! ;-p

That’s exactly what my mama and I do!! We each have a glass of wine, start chopping away on ingredients for whatever it is we are making and talk about everything and anything, while at the same time chasing the men out of the kitchen! They are always hungry! What made cooking fun in our house? My dad was quite a traveller and he took my mom along , so they enjoyed wonderful, honest food from different countries. yum!

This is what I am getting at – although we are an afrikaans family, we are definitely not a traditional afrikaans family.Let me give you an example: When I was little,  I started a lifelong,  loving relationship with olives! Yes, my dad hid those from me too! Do you know a 6 year old that would kill for olives? I was one!

So down to the point.. we love vegetables, salad, fruit and beautiful flavours!! Lucky me- my mom has always been a brilliant cook and she passed on her passion for cooking to me.  I think that is what makes her more beautiful, not that she needs it, because she is the most beautiful woman EVER! She is feminine,  a brilliant cook,  a wonderful, loving mother and partner and would do anything for her friends! i miss her sooooo much!  Ok, I know,  back to the point – when you have fresh ingredients, combine them with love and passion (exactly what my mother does) and your final product will be irresistable!

So here we go .. I had lovely ingredients lined on my counter.. a beautiful jamie oliver frying pan,( one of my babies and wonderful gift from the hubby) great music, a  lovely glass of wine… and an urge to spoil my husband with a beautiful dish for supper… So, paella was on the menu 🙂 Here we go!

Use your biggest frying pan you have – or your biggest saucepan – I used my Jamie Oliver pan, but halfway through transferred it to one of my Le Creuset ware pieces.

Olive oil or chilli oil if you love a bit of bite or if you’re feeling a bit cheeky!

100g Chorizo slices/ salami

5 teaspoons of crushed garlic

1 teaspoon paprika

1 wine glass of dry white wine

Salt & Pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1 red pepper roughly chopped

1 yellow pepper roughly chopped

1 orange pepper / green pepper roughly chopped

150g green beans

1 can of tinned tomatoes

1 onion chopped

200g grilled peppers(tinned fine) or grill your own ones in the oven

300g Paella rice

700ml chicken stock

250g chicken thigh fillets cut into medium size pieces

250g clams/oysters (tinned is fine)

150g squid or calamari rings

220 g shrimp

300g prawns

250g  mussels scrubbed and washed

Drizzle your pan with the oil. Heat the pan and start snipping in the chorizo/salami with scissors into your pan. Let it sizzle for about 5 minutes. Now add your garlic, chopped red, yellow and orange/green pepper, together with your chopped onion to the chorizo. Add half of the chopped parsley. Now sprinkle with the paprika. Season with salt and pepper and fry the ingredients together for another 5 minutes. Now add the chicken.

Brown the chicken for about 5 minutes and add the grilled peppers. Add your paella and stir through gently so the rice is combined with all the flavours in the pan. Pour in the white wine. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and mix through. Pour in the chicken stock. Stir gently for about 15 minutes. Make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom.

After 15 minutes, add the mussels,prawns, clams/oysters, prawns and squid/calamari along with the green beans. Stir around for about 10 minutes. Now add your lemon juice and mix around gently. If your paella looks slightly dry, you can add a little extra stock to make it more silky. Taste and season if needed. Now add the rest of the chopped parsley, black pepper and enjoy!!