Tag Archives: white wine

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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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

 

 

 

“Bag” an all in one chicken recipe ;-p

12 Mar

Or you can just bag it because you are lazy.. and tired, like me. It is my new “happy bag”. Oven roasting bags…. salute to the person that thought of this nifty little trick!! It literally “bags” all the flavour of your chicken and veggies that you throw in together. Between the working, exercising, cleaning… and then cooking, I have tried to find quicker and cleaner ways to make supper. Also, I was cheating because the flavouring came in one tiny little bag, BUT, if you cant find this product, I have worked on ingredients that you can toss together without having to buy the spice sachet.

When looking for a roasting bag, make sure it actually says “oven roasting bag” on the packet. Basically, all you do is toss your chicken into the bag, sprinkle over a bit of olive oil and toss the spices from the sachet over the contents, shake and close off and place in the oven… nifty eh? So, first off, the ingredients, if you don’t have a flavoured sachet.

Spices

2 teaspoons of cumin

2 teaspoons of dried thyme

2 teaspoons of chicken spice

2 teaspoons of dried chives

2 pinches of salt

1 teaspoon of dried rosemary

Extra ingredients

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 lemon, cut in half

black pepper for seasoning

30 ml of dry white wine

2 teaspoons of crushed garlic

 

1 pack of chicken thighs/ chicken quarters / chicken drumsticks

1 courgette, roughly chopped

1 onion/red onion roughly chopped

2 handfuls of french beans

Preheat your oven to 160 C. Make sure your oven racks are spaced out properly as the bag will expand. Toss all your ingredients into the bag,  close it and spread it out in a tray.

Place in the oven, cook for 45 minutes and ta da!!!! Enjoy with lovely, fluffy jasmine rice.

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 🙂

Heart warming Sunday Chicken for Jo

19 Jul

Sounds very simple, but if you think about it, it is usually the simplest things that you remember. There are many things about this recipe that reminds me of my friend Jo, which has a very special place in my heart. Garlic, a very strong, overpowering ingredient, but you can add it to anything and it will turn a so-so dish into a winner! Chicken, an underestimated main ingredient, might sound boring, but it is always a success, giving  you strength and rejuvenates you when you have flu and warms a cold, tired and weak  body. Potatoes, a true and rich indulgence, fluffy, creating instant happiness for anyone!!

Jo is exactly like all these ingredients. Like Garlic, she is full of surprises – strong, but also sweet and can lift anyone up and you know she is always there to make things better. Like chicken, she has enough love and care to spread between all her friends and family and you know she is always there to come to the rescue if anything goes wrong or puts you in a swizzle.

Like potatoes – she is comforting, always there to give a hug when needed and envelops you in a cloud of calming conversations. I miss her dearly this beautiful friend of mine. This is also her dish today as she loves the “one pot wonders”. I know she totally adores a lovely and hearty casserole! However, a few months back she got sick after eating chicken. I wonder if this had anything to do with her now expecting a little bambino? ;-p All the more why I know she will love this recipe as she is in the mood to eat and enjoy lovely, fresh, old fashioned hearty food. Especially since it is winter in South Africa at the moment.

She is one of my friends that loves delicious food, and believe me, she can prepare it, but she would rather sit around a table and chat with her friends while there is something cooking in the oven that will look after itself, but be an absolutely winner when finished! I really wish I could sit down at a beautifully decorated table, with a lot of candles, beautiful food and lovely conversation with my dear friend. This will have to wait until December, when I assure you we will be doing this exact thing, but by this time, she might be able to balance her teacup on her beautiful belly! So Jo, this one is for you 🙂

1 whole chicken

1 tablespoon of butter, softened

1 lemon, cut in half

3 whole Garlic bulbs

Olive oil

5 red rooster potatoes, cut in quarters

1 twig of rosemary

Black pepper

Salt

handful of mushrooms

2 courgettes, roughly chopped

1 aubergine, roughly chopped and salted

2 onions roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of chopped garlic

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon of sugar

Garlic drizzle sauce

1/2 glass of dry white wine

2 tablespoons of butter

cooked garlic cloves

juice of one lemon

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Rub your chicken with the butter, almost like massaging ;-p Season with salt and pepper. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Now place the two halves of the lemon inside the chicken.

Cook the chicken for 30 minutes. While the chicken is cooking in the oven, boil your potatoes in salted water for 8 minutes. While this is boiling, drizzle a frying pan with oil and add the garlic. Gently start frying your onion. Now add your courgettes and fry for about 8 minutes. Add your aubergine. Fry for another 8 minutes. Add your tinned tomatoes. Flavour with salt and pepper and mix in your sugar. After your chicken has cooked for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and arrange your potatoes and mushrooms around the chicken.

Place your garlic in between the potatoes and mushrooms. Drizzle olive oil over each whole clove, generously. While the chicken cooks, it will make extra juices, along with the olive oil, so use this and mix through the potatoes so they are coated in these juices. scatter the leaves from the rosemary twig around the potatoes. This sounds like a lot of garlic, but remember, when garlic cooks in its skin, it becomes sweet 🙂 Now, return the tray to the oven and cook for another 40 minutes or until the juices run clear.

Take the cooked garlic and place in a small pan with the butter,lemon juice and white wine. press down with a wooden spoon onto the garlic to allow all the juices to flow out. Now sieve it through onto the chicken and potatoes etc. Enjoy with your ratatouille with this lovely chicken, and if you want to, feel free to enjoy with some rice or cous cous!  🙂

Cheery Chicken

5 Jul

What can possibly be cheery about chicken…. or for normal (not me) people, even food…. Well, I recieved quite a few emails from a very dear friend of mine today. I have known her for about 9 years, which still amazes me. She is probably my first foodie fan!! Whenever I had a dinner party back in South Africa, I knew she would be the first guest to confirm, well and her hubby that is, but since I see them as one person, I don’t think I have to mention him ;-p

If possible, it would be them that might have invented the “hhhhmmmmmmm” sound effects when one enjoys a great meal! It is quite possible that there might have been times where the food wasn’t that great, but I like to believe it was my cheery personality that made them forget about that ;-p Something that I admire about my friend Nikki, is that she is always cheery, enjoys to chat with me over a glass of wine about the ” terrible, hard and emotional” life of a artist – the “no one understands us” trait ! Dramaqueen no 2! ;-p  Add to this, that she always appreciates the small things in life and realises the beauty in it, makes me miss her terribly! So, after speaking to her today, I know she has had a hard day and would love a nice, warm, home cooked meal!

This is where I will start moving over to my infomercial voice – If you sign up to my blog now, you will recieve lovely and hearty FREE recipes, which no other individual will supply….. BUT there is more!! By reading this blog, you will recieve a recipe today to put everything together in only 5 minutes, put it in the oven, sit back, relax and wait for it to develop into a lovely, hearty and cheery meal! But.. there is MORE! By reading this recipe, it will also supply you with a slight smile of completely how ridiculous it is that you are finding it entertaining, for FREE!

Enough with all the bull, this recipe is dedicated to my friend Nikki, if I could, this dish would have waited for her at home already to enjoy when she walks through the door. So, this is a quick, all in one casserole, whole chicken recipe. Simple, tasty and cheers you up in no time!

1 whole chicken

juice of one lemon

3 tablespoons of malt vinegar ( if you dont have this, take redwine vinegar and mix it with a teaspoon of sugar)

1 1/2 cup of Orzo ( small grainy type of pasta)

Butter for basting

1 whole Garlic clove,broken into their normal individual cloves, skin still on

Olive oil

1 red onion, cut in quarters with skin still on

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1 teaspoon of cumin powder

salt & pepper

Tinned broad beans or fresh beans

1 glass of dry white wine

Get a nice deep casserole dish that you can use on the stove, as well as in the oven. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Drizzle your casserole dish with olive oil and fry your onions, garlic and cumin seeds for about 5 minutes. Now, place your chicken on top of the onions and garlic etc. Rub the top of the chicken with butter, almost massaging it. Now sprinkle your cumin over the chicken. Squeeze over your lemon juice and add the white wine. Flavour with salt and pepper and put in the oven to cook for about 40 minutes.

Remove the lid now and cook for another 10 minutes.

Now, take it out of the oven, and add your vinegar, beans and orzo and mix through. Should you need more liquid, add more white wine. Mix through.  Cover with the lid and cook for another 9 minutes. Remove from oven, cut your chicken and serve up with your beans and orzo!