Potato Gnocchi

caf82e90-9bea-4209-885e-b0ab05fc7872-1

INGREDIENTS
5 Large Potatoes
2 Eggs
1½ Cups Flour (Plus Extra If Needed)
½ Tsp Salt
Neapolitan Sauce
Fresh Cream
Parmesan Cheese, Grated

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F
  2. Boil potatoes, unpeeled, in water till soft.
  3. Drain and peel potatoes.
  4. Mash potatoes using a ricer if you have one. Potato needs to be very smooth.
  5. Add egg, salt, flour and mix. If mixture is still sticky add up to an extra ½ cup
    flour till the mixture is not sticky and forms a ball.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add 1/2 tsp of salt.
  7. Divide potato into 4 portions and roll into a long sausage.
  8. Cut on the diagonal like the photo above and roll with a fork to make indentations.
  9. Place a few pieces at a time into the boiling water. They will rise to the surface when they are cooked.
  10. Place some Neapolitan sauce in a large ovenproof dish. Cover the entire bottom of the dish.
  11. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place on the Neapolitan sauce.
  12. Repeat with the rest of the potato.
  13. Drizzle over cream. I use about 200 mls.
  14. Grate Parmesan cheese over the top of the cooked gnocchi.
  15. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes at 190°C/ till bubbling and the tops are golden.

 

Advertisements

Fatoush Salad

IMG_3013

Love the combination of fresh salad with mint & parsley and a lemon dressing. Add sumac to bring it up to another level. Sumac is a spice available from a Mediterranean deli.

INGREDIENTS  

Serves 4

One head baby gem or romaine lettuce
10 baby tomatoes
4 small radish
1/4 english cucumber unpeeled
2 sticks celery
A bunch of flat leaf parsley
A bunch of mint
A handful of fresh baby peas
2 pita bread
2 tbls olive oil
1/2 tsp sumac
salt & pepper

DRESSING
Juice of a lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp sumac
salt & pepper

METHOD
1. Wash lettuce and dry. Slice into 1/2 inch (1cm) slices.
2. Slice tomatoes in half.
3. Slice radish in half and then slice thinly.
4. Cube cucumber and slice celery.
5. Wash and dry parsley & mint. Remove stems and chop.
6. Place lettuce, tomatoes, radish, cucumber, parsley & mint and peas in a salad bowl.
7. Toast pita, split open and slice into wedges.
8. In a large frying pan heat olive oil and add pita chips with sumac, salt and pepper and toss till golden. Remove from heat and drain on absorbant paper.
9. Make dresssing by mixing lemon juice, olive oil, sumac, salt & pepper together till blended.
10. Just before serving add pita chips and dressing and mix through.

Zucchini/Baby Marrow Carpaccio

 

20130104-184748.jpg

 

INGREDIENTS

4 Zucchini
1 tbls extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
2 tbls red wine vinegar
4 tsp capers
50g feta cheese – crumbled
1 tbls small fresh mint leaves, to garnish

METHOD

Use a mandolin or sharp knife and thinly slice the zucchini/baby marrow on the diagonal. A Potato peeler also works well. Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Add the capers and fry for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towel to drain. Arrange the zucchini slices, slightly overlapping on a serving plate. Drizzle with extra olive oil and the red wine vinegar. Sprinkle over the fried capers and the feta cheese. Season with a good grind of black pepper and garnish with the fresh mint.

Gefilte Fish

IMG_4387My family love home made gefilte fish. I use 2 kgs minced/ground fish and make half into gefilte and the rest into fried fish balls. When my son was much younger he would not eat carrots so I mince/grind my own fresh fish and add fried onions to the mixture, which makes it sweeter. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine do.

INGREDIENTS

2 kgs (4 1/2 lbs) filleted fish. (I use hake/stockfish but any white fish will do)
Ask the fishmonger for the head, skin & bones (these are used for the stock)
3 large onions, sliced and fried in 4 tbls oil
1 tbls flour or matzoh meal
2 tbls matzo meal
3 eggs
2 tsp salt
2 tsp seafood/fish seasoning
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup ice cold water

METHOD

1. Cut the fish fillets into chuncks.
2. Place a handful of fish into a food processor at a time and grind the fish for a few seconds till the fish is chopped. Repeat until all fish is ground.Remove the fish and place it in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the fried onions and oil and blend till chopped finely, add this mixture to the fish in the mixing bowl.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix very well. At this stage I taste the fish to check for seasoning…Yes I do like raw minced fish and this step might not be for everyone!
5. Prepare the stock. I still prepare the full amount even though I fry half.
6. Place 8 – 10 cups of water in a large pot
7. Add the rinsed skin, head and bones.
8. Slice 3 onions and add these to the stock, I add the skin of the onion which gives the stock a good colour.
9. Add 1 tsp salt, dash of pepper and 1 tsp sugar.
10. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour.
11. Strain the stock and add 3 peeled and sliced carrots.
12. Use a bowl of water to wet your hand (this prevents the fish mixture from sticking) and shape the fish mixture into balls and carefully place into the hot stock
13. Cook over gentle heat for 1 1/2 hours.
14. Leave to cool in the pot.
15. Remove the fish balls and place them into a platter dish with sides – pyrex dishes work best. 16. Place a sliced cooked carrot on top of each ball.
17. Pour the liquid around the fish balls. It should set into a jelly from the skin, bones and head. 18. Place in the refrigerator.
For the fish cakes:
1. Heat oil in a frying pan.
2. Shape the fish mixture into patties or balls and frytill golden. IMG_0467 IMG_0472

Dairy free Homemade Chicken Pies

Chicken Pies are wonderful to have in the freezer for those instant meals. I make a batch and get out about 22 pies. Once encased in the pastry I place them on a baking sheet on non stick paper and place them in the freezer. When I want a meal I take them out the freezer, paint with egg and bake from frozen.  I often just serve them with a fresh garden salad.

PASTRY
4 cups cake flour
400g dairy free butter (ice cold)
1 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water

METHOD

1. Sift flour and salt.
2. Grate margarine into flour using a cheese grater.
3. Cut through with a knife to combined the margerine and flour mixture.
4. Add boiling water and bring together quickly with a knife. Sometimes it helps to use two knives and cut against each other to combine.
5. Once combined form into a ball and refrigerate until required or freeze for use at a later date.

image1

image4

image5

CHICKEN FILLING
Take one whole chicken and place it in a pot with one whole onion, 2 carrots and salt & pepper. Cover all ingredients completely with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Switch off and allow to cool in the stock. Once cold remove skin & bones and save all the meat. Keep the cooking liquid and use it for the sauce.

½ cup flour​

1 chicken stock cube
250g mushrooms- sliced​

oil
salt & pepper​

1 large onion
11/2 – 2 cups liquid from cooking the chicken

image3

Filling: fry finely chopped onion in oil. Add mushrooms and fry till limp. Add flour and cook for one minute. Add liquid from the chicken and  the stock cube and stir till thickened.  Start with 1 cup and add more till the sauce is like heavy cream and smooth. Fold in flaked chicken.  The mixture must be very moist but thick. Allow to cool.

image2

Roll out and cut out rounds. Place chicken in center of pastry, brush sides with egg and fold over to seal well. Brush top with egg and bake 180 for ½  hour or until pastry is golden.

Chopped Liver

Ingredients
500g (1 lb) chicken livers
3 onions – sliced
60 ml oil
6 eggs
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
pinch pepper
1 thelma chicken cube
1/2 – 1 cup water

Method
Place eggs in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and set the timer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover in cold water. Remove the shells when cool. Heat oil in a large frying pan and add onions and saute until glassy. Add the cleaned livers and cook briskly until the onions are nicely browned. Add salt & pepper, water and stock cube. I like to taste at the end and add more salt if needed. Cover with a lid and reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the head and allow to cool. Mince the liver mixture and the eggs into a large bowl. I always put a lice of white bread through the mincer at the end. Beat until well blended. Season to taste. Arrange on a platter and garnish with finely grated egg and decorate the sides with thinly sliced pickled cucumber.

Chopped Herring

IMG_4434Chopped herring is very popular and always requested at a function in South Africa. Our local synagogue has a kiddush brocha meal every Shabbat and I make the chopped herring for this. I reckon I make about 15kg a month! You can never have enough. It is usually served with Kichel (recipe here). Chopped herring is served on almost all Jewish Holidays and celebrations. This quantity makes about 2 liters.

INGREDIENTS
700 grams soaked fresh herring fillets
6 onions – peeled
6 granny smith apples – peeled & cored
6 extra large eggs – hard boiled and peeled
8 marie biscuits – any sweet cookie can be used. to make parev i use lady fingers.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
dash of cinnamon

METHOD

Slice onions and fry in a little oil until soften be careful not to carmalize them, about 12 minutes. Use a food grinder/mincer on medium (my Kenwood electric mincer has three different discs and I use the middle one). Mince the herring, apples, biscuits/lady fingers, onions and eggs into a large bowl. Once everything has been minced add the sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Mix well and taste, it should taste sweet and sour. Adjust with additional seasoning as necessary, I sometimes need to add a little more vinegar. Don’t forget that the flavours will develop once the mixture stands for a while. Once the flavour is to your liking cover and place in refrigerator for a few days before serving. This recipe can frozen with great success.

Kichel

IMG_4383Kichel are a sweet baked cracker cookie that is served with chopped herring. There are two types of kichel, I make the biscuit/cookie kichel which have baking powder in them. The other kind are very flat with no raising agent. My family always fight over the more golden pieces so over the years I’ve started to leave a batch in the oven a little longer to get them extra golden, this keeps my darling hubby and kids more than happy.

IMG_0502

INGREDIENTS
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
pinch salt
2 cups + 3 tbls cake flour
3 tsp baking powder
Extra sugar for sprinkling

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C / 450°F
2. Beat eggs, sugar, oil and salt very well together.
3. Sift flour and baking powder together.
4. Add flour mixture gradually, while beating all the time until a dough is formed.
5. Roll out thinly in batches.
6. Sprinkle with sugar and lightly press down with a rolling pin so that the sugar sticks to the dough when moved.
7. Cut into diamond shapes.
8. Place on a wire cooling rack, that has small squares, which has been sprayed with non stick spray to avoid sticking.

IMG_4384
9. Bake in oven for a few minutes until pale golden, keep an eye on them as the kichel will burn very quickly. Oven may be opened to judge if kichel are ready.
10. Remove from oven and turn tray over and gently nudge off cake cooling rack.

IMG_4383

Marinated cheese salad

IMG_5240This is delicious served with crisp flat bread or focaccia  and white wine in the summer. Due to it being marinated it will keeps for ages in the refrigerator.

INGREDIENTS
2 balls firm mozzarella cheese – cubed
250 grams feta cheese – rinsed and cubed
1/2 cup pitted black olives – cut in half
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes – sliced into 1/3rds
3 cloves garlic – crushed
5 whole chillies – red or green
3/4 cup pecan nuts – broken in half and added when serving
Fresh basil leaves for decorating

DRESSING
1 cup oil -not extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

METHOD
1. Place all ingredients into a large rectangular plastic container with a lid.
2. Pour over the dressing.
3. Leave to marinade for a few days.
4. Decorate with fresh basil and pecan nuts before serving.

Seven Layer Taco Dip

 

This dip brings back wonderful memories of holidays with the family. I would make this dip to take to the beach for sun-downers. Everyone wanted what was in my picnic basket…………

1st Layer: One tin of Chilli baked beans pureed – Spread over the base of a glass dish.

2nd Layer: 3 Avocado’s pureed with 1 cup Hellmans mayonnaise – place over the beans.

3rd Layer: Mix together 1 pkt white onion soup mix, 2 tbls tomato sauce/ketchup, few drops tobasco sauce, 1/2 tsp paprika, 3/4 tsp black pepper,250ml (1Cup)Thick Sour Cream and 250 ml (1 Cup) Hellmans Mayonnaise. Place over the Avo.

4th Layer – 250ml (1 Cup) grated Strong Cheddar Cheese

5th Layer – Finely Shredded Lettuce.

6th Layer  – Chopped fresh Tomato.

7th Layer – Finely Chopped Spring Onion.

Cover bowl and refrigerate till needed. Serve with Taco or Potato Chips.