Friday, 28 December 2012

Matoke -Plantain green banana salad


Healthy and delicious plantain salad  with a spicy kick .

Ingredients:

4 green plantain
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 green chilli finely chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Fresh coriander for garnish

Method:

1.Place the plantain in a large pan and cover with water.
2.Bring the water to boil and simmer on medium heat until plantain is cooked.(Plantain is cooked when the skins will split open slight;y and turn black.)

3.Drain the water and peel the skin of the plantain and cut into 1/2 cm round discs
4. In a pan add the oil when it is hot add the plantain slices,green chilli,salt, chilli powder and toss for 2-3 minutes
5. Transfer to a serving dish, squeeze  lemon on it and garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve as side dish or salad.


You may like:
Geelrys -South African yellow rice Submitting to:

Flavours of  South Africa, event by simply.food guest hosted by PJ of seduce your tastebuds



Product Review ~Terra Rossa


On my recent visit to the taste of London food festival, I met the lovely Hanan founder of Terra Rossa. Terra Rossa is the name given to the “red soil” which is commonly found in the fertile green crescent which covers Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The soil is particularly good for cultivating olive groves, citrus trees and grape vines.
Terra Rossa are specialist in Arabian products which are used in preparing exquisite Arabian cuisine. At the exhibition I was able to sample aromatic spice infused olive oils that are perfect for dipping Mediterranean bread, I tasted dips such as red and green Harissa and an array of Arabian spices such as sumac and Zaataar.

The oils and spices are perfect for seasoning and adding to houmous, dips and dressing salads.
In addition for those with a sweet tooth, there was the delicious pistachio and apricot nougat, sugared almonds and a tradition Arabian sweet called manna made with mixed almonds, pistachio nuts and cardamom.
I was truly bowled over with the products and when Hanan offered to send me some samples of the oils, spices and the dips with the beautiful hand painted dipping bowls I was overjoyed.


All Terra Rossa products are offered in elegantly packaged bottles, with hand made ceramic dipping pots and are presented in natural corrugated cartons, jute bags, Jordanian Hampers and hand-crafted wooden boxes. All the products are sold via delicatessens, farm shops and garden centres with fine food sections and can be purchased directly from Terra Rossa on line.

I would like to thank Hanan for her generosity in sending me the oils, spices, dips and particularly the beautiful dipping bowls. The introduction to these beautiful ingredients has fuelled my passion for trying Arabian and Middle Eastern foods and I have been cooking some Lebanese  and Moroccan  dishes at simply.food.

All views, opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Sweet Trees



Edible chocolate covered sweet trees.

Non edible item required:

7 cm polystyrene ball
Small flower pot or tea light holder
12 inch wooden dowling rod(diameter 1 cm)
Spare piece of dowling for dipping
Plaster of Paris
Decorative ribbon 2 metres


Ingredients

240 g milk chocolate
30 g white chocolate
Sweets (smarties, m&m's or maltersers )




Method:

1. Wrap the ribbon around the dowling rod and secure both ends with sticky tape.
2.  Make plaster of Paris as per packet instructions and once it has been mixed half fill the pot with the plaster of Paris.(Do not overfill pot as the plaster will expand and crack the pot if you overfill)

3. Immediately push the dowling that is covered with ribbon into the plaster of Paris and hold it steady and making sure its is straight in the centre of the pot. The plaster of Paris will set very quickly.
4. Leave the pot to one side for the plaster of Paris to harden completely.
5. Wipe clean the polystyrene ball and using a sharp knife, pierce a hole in the bottom of the ball about 2 cm deep.
6. Using the spare dowling gently push it into the hole.(This will used to hold as we dip the ball.)
7. In double boiler place the chocolate and melt it.

 

8.Once chocolate has melted, dip the polystyrene ball into the chocolate by holding it from the dowling.Tap the rod to shake off any extra chocolate and leave the chocolate to set on the ball. 
9. Once chocolate is set repeat this procedure again so that the chocolate covered ball is re dipped in chocolate.Leave the chocolate to set on the ball.
10. Once again dip the chocolate covered ball into the chocolate for the third  and final time.Shake off extra chocolate and leave to set fully.Once chocolate is set place the ball into the freezer for 5-10 minutes. after which take the chocolate covered ball out of the freezer.and place it on a tea towel.
11. Gently twist the chocolate covered ball off the dowling and place it on the dowling that has been set in the pot.
11. Slightly cool the melted chocolate so that it thickens a little.


12. Dip sweets of your choice in the cooled chocolate and stick them to the chocolate ball..

  


13.One the ball is totally covered in the sweets place the sweet tree in the fridge to fully set the chocolate.
14. After 30 minutes remove the sweet tree form fridge and tie a piece of ribbon on the dowling.(If desired melt some white chocolate and drizzle it over the sweet tree.


15. Fill the flower pot with remaining sweets.
Sweet tree is ready, to give as a gift ,wrap in cellophane and secure with ribbon.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Vanilla short bread


Rich and crumbly vanilla short bread.

Ingredients:

180 grams / 6 oz plain flour
60 grams / 2 oz sugar
120 grams /4 oz  butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon milk
Silver edible draggies

Icing:

6 tablespoons icing sugar
gel food colours green, pink, brown and yellow.
2-3 teaspoon water approx

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F
2. In a bowl cream together the sugar and butter.
3. Add the vanilla, milk and flour and make a dough.
4. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
5. After the dough has chilled, roll it out on a dusted surface and cut out Christmas tree shaped short bread.


6. Place shortbread on baking tray and bake for 10-12 mins until slightly golden.
7. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
8. In a bowl sieve the icing sugar, add a little water to form a thick dropping consistency icing that holds shape when piped.(The amount of water to add is approx and make sure the icing is not too runny otherwise you won't be able to pipe with it.)Divide the remaining mixture into into half and colour one half  green. Divide the remaining icing into three parts.Colour one part yellow, one part brown and one part pink
9.Make  icing bag  from greaseproof paper.( See the video here.)
10.Fill the cones with prepared icing .
11. Start with the green icing and outline all the cookies with the green icing.
12. Thin the green icing by adding 2-3 drops water and use it to fill the inside of the green outlined cookies. This is called flooding.Leave the icing to set for 30 minutes.(Check video here)


13. Once green icing is dry. Pipe a base for the tree in brown icing.pipe. Next pipe yellow wiggly lines to represent tinsel on the tree.

14. With the pink icing pipe bows and stars to represent ribbons and stars on the tree.
15.Sprinkle some edible silver balls to represent baubles.


Allow the icing to set for few hours before wrapping the short bread in cellophane for gifts.

Submitting to:
Lets cook edible gifts for Christmas event by simply.food.




Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Snowflake Lemon Shortbread



Rich melt in the mouth shortbread with a lovely citrus zing.

Ingredients:

180 grams / 6 oz plain flour
60 grams / 2 oz sugar
120 grams /4 oz  butter
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon milk

Icing:

4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon water approx


Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F
2. In a bowl cream together the sugar and butter.
3. Add the lemon zest, milk and flour and make a dough.
4. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
5. After the dough has chilled, roll it out on a dusted surface and cut out snowflake shaped short bread.
6. Place shortbread on baking tray and bake for 10-12 mins until slightly golden.
7. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
8. In a bowl sieve the icing sugar, add the lemon juice and little water to form a thick dropping consistency icing that holds shape when piped.(The amount of water to add is approx and make sure the icing is not too runny otherwise you won't be able to pipe with it.)
9.Make  icing bag  from greaseproof paper.( See the video here.)
10.Fill the cones with prepared icing and ice the shortbread with the icing.
Allow the icing to set for few hours before wrapping the short bread in cellophane for gifts.


Submitting to:
Lets cook edible gifts for Christmas event by simply.food.



Christmas no croutons required

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Three Merry Berries Mocktail ~ The third day of Christmas


I was recently asked by Innocent Drinks to see If I would like to help them create a mocktail inspired by one of the days in the Christmas carol the Twelve days of Christmas. For my inspiration I was given the line "On the third day of Christmas My true love sent to me Three French hen, Two turtle doves and A partridge in a pear tree.."

I set the mood by singing Christmas carols at the top of my voice, then with much muddling, squeezing and shaking with different flavours and combinations of ingredients. I have come up with your very own perfect festive mocktail which I have named "Three Merry Berries."The colour of the berries, the fragrance of citrus and the cinnamon all emanate warm memories of Christmas and the combinations of the ingredients are very complimentary to each other.
I sent the recipe with my mocktail clicks to Innocent drinks so that the mocktail could be recreated at Innocent Fruit towers and professionally photographed for a recipe card that will be available so that you too can create this berrilicious mocktail. You can down load the recipe card from here.
Once all 12 days have been posted by various fellow bloggers a recipe pdf will be available to down load so that everyone can enjoy the 12 Christmas inspired mocktails.
The above recipe card is what Innocent Drinks recreated for me, below is my version I created for submitting to Innocent Drinks.


Three Merry Berry Mocktail

A delicious nostalgic Christmas spiced Berry mocktail

Serves 2
Ingredients:

For Spiced honey syrup

90 ml water
60 ml light runny honey
2 inch piece of cinnamon
Small pinch cinnamon powder
2 star anise
2 cloves

For Mocktail

2 strawberries
4 raspberries
4 blackberries
½ teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon lime zest
10 ml lime juice
25 ml spiced honey syrup (made to above recipe)
60 ml Innocent apple juice
150 ml Innocent apple and Raspberry juice
60 ml soda water
Crushed Ice

For Decoration:

2 strawberries
2 blackberries
2 raspberries
2 star shaped sparklers
2 straws 8 cm long or to fit glass
1 tablespoon pink sugar crystals
1 teaspoon spiced honey syrup

For Serving:

2 orange slices
4 raspberries
4 blackberries
2 serving glasses
60 ml soda water


Method:

Make the spiced honey syrup.

  1. In a pan add the water, cinnamon stick, cinnamon powder, star anise, cloves and honey.
  2. Bring the mixture to boil, once boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until all the honey has melted.
  3. Remove the honey syrup from the heat and leave to cool.
  4. Once syrup has cooled strain it into a clean jar. Measure out 25 ml for the mocktail and refrigerate the rest for future use

Making the mocktail.

  1. Hull and roughly chop 2 strawberries and put it into a cocktail shaker, add 6 raspberries and 6 blackberries, orange and lime zest.
  2. With the help of a wooden muddler crush the berries.
  3. To the crushed berries add the apple and raspberry juice, apple juice, 25 ml spiced honey syrup, the lime juice and ice. Shake the mocktail and double strain it to remove any seeds.

To Serve:

  1. Take two serving glasses, coat the outer rim of them with the honey syrup and dip them in pink sugar crystals to form a pink  rim. Shake off access sugar.
  2. Dice two strawberries and add them to the 2 glasses.
  3. Add two whole raspberries and two whole blackberries and a slice of orange to each glass
  4. Gently pour the prepared mocktail to the glass and top it with some soda water.

To Garnish:

  1. Decoratively cut two slices from the 2 remaining strawberries and perch a slice onto the rim of each glass.
  2. Thread 1 raspberry and 1 blackberry to the star shaped sparkler, place the end of the sparkler into a straw and place the straw into the mocktail.

Light the sparkler before serving and enjoy Three Merry Berry Mocktail whilst listening to Christmas Carols or sing your own......
On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me Three merry berries, 2 bags of spice and a lime in a citrus tree.....

Thankyou Innocent drinks for sending me the mocktail making equipment and the vouchers to purchase the ingredients .Thankyou also for giving me this wonderful opportunity to participate in such a wonderful festive event.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Geelrys - Savoury South African yellow rice



Savoury and sweet  rice with aromatic cinnamon flavour.

Ingredients:

120 grams / 4 oz  basmati rice
250 ml hot water
30 grams / 1 oz raisins
1 tablespoon brown sugar(optional)
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil


Method:

1. Wash the rice and soak it in cold water for 30 minutes.
2. Drain the rice and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a large lidded frying pan.
4. When it is hot add the cinnamon stick,  and sauté for 30 seconds.
5.Add the drained rice, raisins, turmeric and salt and sauté the rice for 2-3 minutes until rice grains are coated in oil.
5. Add 250 ml  hot water and bring the rice to boil, once rice is boiling turn the heat to lowest setting and cover the pan.Cook covered for 20 minutes.(Do not open the pan lid during this time)
6. After 20 minutes open the pan and fluff the rice with a fork.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with more raisins.

NB- If using brown sugar add it at step 5


You may like:
Bunny Chow

Submitting to:
Flavours of  South Africa, event by simply.food guest hosted by PJ of seduce your tastebuds




Monday, 10 December 2012

Koeksisters -South African sugar coated doughnut


These sugar coated braided doughnuts are commonly found in the streets of South Africa. They are sold by street vendors and at flea markets.There are many versions of this recipe, I am posting a simple and easy recipe here.

Delicious cinnamon and ginger  flavoured sugar coated doughnuts.

For Syrup:

480 grams  /16 oz sugar
250 ml water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger puree
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cream of tarter

For Doughnuts:

240 grams  plain flour
1 teaspoon baking Powder
pinch of salt
1 egg or 1 tablespoon egg replacer
2 tablespoons soft butter
100 ml / 1/2 cup water approx
500 ml sunflower oil for frying.

Method:

Make the sugar syrup the night before.

1. Add the water to a pan  and bring it to the boil.
2. Add the cinnamon stick, ginger,sugar, lemon juice and cream of tarter and stir the syrup until all the sugar has melted.
3. Reduce heat and simmer the syrup for 2-3 minutes until it starts to feel like it is thickening. Remove from heat at this stage and leave to cool.(Don't over boil the syrup otherwise it will thicken too much and make dunking the doughnuts difficult)
4. Refrigerate the syrup over night.

Making the dough.

5. Add the flour, baking powder salt, egg replacer in a bowl and mix well.
6. Rub in the butter and than add the water a little at a time until a soft pliable dough forms.
7. Cover and leave for 3 hours.
8. After the dough has settled divide it into 12 parts , roll each part into a rectangle approx 6 inch x 3 inch.
9. Cut each rectangle lengthways into three strips  leaving approx 1 cm at the top.
10. Braid the three strips to form a plait and press together the ends so that they do not unravel during frying.
You can watch the video here to get an idea of braiding
11.Repeat for all the rest of the dough.
12. Heat oil in a pan, when it is hot deep fry on medium heat 3-4 doughnuts at a time until golden brown.
13 Remove sugar syrup from the fridge and take out the cinnamon stick and discard. Immediately dip the hot doughnuts into the cold syrup.
14. Repeat for all the doughnuts.
15.Transfer the dipped doughnuts onto a wire rack to allow the syrup to set on the doughnuts.


Store any  uneaten doughnuts in the refrigerator.

NB- It is advised that the syrup is cold when you dip the doughnuts into it as this helps to make the doughnuts crispy.Cream of tartar gives a glossy shine to the doughnuts.

You may like:
Bunny Chow

Submitting to:

Flavours of  South Africa, event by simply.food guest hosted by PJ of seduce your tastebuds




Thursday, 6 December 2012

Bunny Chow South African stew in a bread roll


Bunny Chow what a strange name for a dish!! I researched this name and discovered that  it is indeed a street food commonly found in Durban South Africa. It is a stew usually  made with lamb or chicken which is served in a hollowed out bread roll or loaf of bread. However I have adapted it here to make it vegetarian.If you are intrigued to find out how this name originated  and  know more about this delicious meal in one  you can read about it here.

Spicy stew served in a hollowed out bread bowl.

Ingredients:

4  crusty bread rolls
240 grams/ 8 oz cooked chick peas
1 medium potato diced
60 grams / 2 oz mixed finely diced red /green/yellow capsicum
1 small red onion finely diced
1 clove garlic
120 grams/ 4 oz blended tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
150 ml water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh coriander for garnish

Method:

1. Heat oil in a pan and when it is hot sauté the garlic and onions until translucent.
2. Add the tomatoes, chilli powder, salt and garam masala and sauté for 2-3 minutes longer.
3. Add the potatoes, peppers and chick peas and the water.
4. bring the stew to boil, once it comes to boil reduce heat and simmer for 15  minutes or until potatoes are cooked and the liquid has turned to a thick gravy.
5.Remove the stew from the heat and stir in half the coriander.
6. To serve cut the tops off the bread rolls and hollow out the bread from the inside. Do not make the bread wall too thin or else the gravy from the stew will run through.
7. Fill each bread roll with the stew and  garnish with remaining coriander ,replace the lid.
8. Serve immediately.

Submitting to:

Flavours of  South Africa, event by simply.food guest hosted by PJ of seduce your tastebuds


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Lets Cook one pot meals round up


Here is around up of some delicious one pots meals perfect for the cold winter.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Yoghurt and Coconut Chutney and Chobani yoghurt review.




I was recently sent some pots of Chobani yoghurts to sample. The yoghurts arrived in a well packaged  portable transport cool box and I  was pleasantly surprised to see how fresh they were upon delivery.The yoghurts were individual sized 170g  tubs  in the following flavours; Pomegranate, strawberry, black cherry, peach, blood orange and no fat plain.In addition to these there are other flavours and larger tubs available too.
Each tub of the fruit yoghurt had a dollop of fruit compote in the bottom of the pot and it was generously topped with rich creamy thick low fat  yoghurt. On a personal note I found that the generosity  and creamy texture of the  yoghurt meant that there was not enough  fruit compote in the tub. I would have preferred a little more fruit in each tub. All the flavours I was sent were delicious, although the pomegranate one was my least favourite as I found it a little too bland and lacked flavour for my liking.


Chobani yoghurts are very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways, on their website there are many recipe ideas with a very helpful conversion chart.I used the yoghurts in a variety of ways, I made a fruit smoothie with the cherry yoghurt and  for breakfast  I stirred peach yoghurt  into some muesli and fresh fruit. I made strawberry muffins and added the strawberry yoghurt to it,  and the natural plain yoghurt I made yoghurt and coconut chutney with it.I enjoyed the yoghurts very much and would definitely buy them .
Thank you to Chobani for sending me such delicious yoghurts to sample, all the views in this post are my own.
This is the Yoghurt and coconut chutney I made using the natural yoghurt:



Creamy and delicious spicy yoghurt and coconut chutney.

Ingredients

170 grams (1 small  tub) Chobani Natural low fatYoghurt ( or any Greek yoghurt)
30 grams  / 1 oz  dessicated coconut
1 green chilli finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt

For tempering:

6 curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon urad dhal
1 red dried chilli

Method:

1. Put the yoghurt in a bowl, add to it the finely chopped chilli, dessicated coconut and the salt and mix well.
2. Transfer the yoghurt mix to a serving bowl.
3. Heat oil in a pan , when it is hot add the mustard seeds, dried chilli, urad dhal and curry leaves.
4. Wait for the tempering to splutter and immediately pour the tempering onto the yoghurt mixture.
Serve as a dip with some poppadoms, tortilla chips or potato crisps

You may like:
Tamarind Chutney
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