Maple and Pecan Salmon With Multi Colored Vegetable Skewers 

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Summer is all about throwing some food on the BBQ and enjoying a glass of wine while watching the sun set. This is a quick and easy recipe to put together for a delicious summer dinner.

INGREDIENTS 

Salmon
4 portions raw salmon steaks
1/2 cup pecan nuts
1/3 cup maple syrup
Half a lemon squeezed
Cedar plank

Vegetable skewers
1 red onion
2 green peppers
2 red peppers
2 zuchinni
2 yellow sqush
16 mushrooms
Pineapple chunks
Lawry’s seasoned salt
Wooden skewers 

METHOD
For the Salmon:
1. Soak the cedar plank in water for 2-3 hours.
2. Chop the peacans into small pieces.
3. In a medium bowl mix the pecans with the maple syrup and lemon juice.
4. Add the salmon to the mixing bowl and let marinate for 10 mins. 

5. Place the salmon steaks onto the cedar planks. Be sure to add any leftover pecan maple mixture onto the top of each salmon steak


6. Place the cedar plank on the BBQ on high, close the lid and grill until done to your required taste. Roughly 10 mins

For the vegetable skewers:
1. Soak the skewers in water for an hour – this prevents them from burning
2. Cut all vegatables into chunks.
3. Push the vegetables onto the skewers alternating all the different vegetables


4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Lawry’s seasoned salt
5. Grill on high until vegetables are tender. Roughly 20 mins, turning every 5 mins.

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Arroz Con Pollo

Chicken and rice cooked together in one pot makes for a heavenly meal. When entertaining it is the best dish to make as not much mess and a little goes a long way. The flavor from the chicken cooked with the rice and vegetables is only made better by the addition of white wine.

INGREDIENTS

3 tbls oil
1 large onion – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 carrot – chopped
1 stick celery – chopped
200 g fresh peas or a tin of peas
1 pkt chicken portions
1 cup white wine
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tin chopped Italian tomatoes
1 1/2 cups hot chicken stock
1/2 tsp saffron soaked in the chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tbls chopped parsley
3/4 cup rice. I use long grain rice.

METHOD
1. In a skillet heat the oil.
2. Add the onion and garlic and saute till glassy. Season the chicken with salt & pepper and brown both sides.
3. Pour over the wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add the rice, tomatoes, carrots, celery, peas and chicken stock.
5 Place bay leaves in the mixture. Bring to the simmer and lower the heat.
6. Cover and simmer gently for 35 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the chicken and rice is cooked.
7. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving

Brisket Tzimmes

What can be better than the smell of roast brisket and cinnamon wafting from the oven….Real comfort food. I make a large casserole of Tzimmes every Rosh Hashanah. I like to roast the brisket the day before serving. Remove from the gravy, wrap in foil and place in the fridge overnight. Slice the next day which make the slicing much easier and the meat does not fall apart.

INGREDIENTS 
2-3 kgs (5-6 lbs) point brisket or middle cut brisket in one piece
1 large whole onion
2 whole cloves garlic
2 whole carrots
6 black pepper corns
3 bay leaves
15 ml ( 1 tbls) salt
5 ml ( 1 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
1 large tomato, cut into quarters
1 beef soup cube. ( I only keep chicken cubes, so that is what i use)

METHOD
1. Place brisket in a large heavy saucepan, cover with boiling water.
2. Add the onion, carrots, whole garlic cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, salt & ground pepper.
3. Bring to the boil, reduce heat , cover and simmer gently for 3 hours.
4. Remove the brisket to a casserole dish and strain the stock.

TZIMMES INGREDIENTS
8 cups strained Stock from the cooked brisket
1 kg (2 lbs) frozen baby carrots
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed.
250 ml (1 cup) golden syrup
5 ml (1 tsp ) ground cinnamon
3 ml (1/2 tsp) ground ginger
5 ml (1 tsp) salt

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F)
2. Place 4 cups of the stock into a pot, add carrots, potatoes & sweet potatoes into stock with salt.
3. Bring to the boil and add rest of ingredients including the extra 4 cups stock.
4. Simmer for 15 minutes then pour over the brisket.
5. Cover and place in the oven and roast for 2-3 hours till brisket is tender.
6. Baste the brisket every 1/2 hour.
7. Remove the brisket, slice against the grain and return to the casserole.
8. To warm, cover the brisket and place into a 100C (220F) till ready to serve.

The brisket will melt in your mouth!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Bobotie

Bobotie is a South African specialty. It consists of spiced minced meat with a baked egg based topping. The first recipe for bobotie appeared in a Dutch cookbook in 1609 and it was then taken to South Africa and adopted by the Cape Malay community. The curry powder gives it a wonderful aromatic smell. It is often served with a fruit chutney. When I was visiting my daughter in Shanghai, her American friend asked if I would make this for them as he had very fond memories of eating this when he spent some time working in South Africa.

INGREDIENTS

500g mince/ground Beef (can also use a mix of beef & Lamb)
2 onions – Finely chopped
1 Slice white Bread
1/2  cup beef or chicken stock
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tbls grated fresh ginger
2-3 tbls apricot jam
1 small green apple, peeled & grated
1 tbls medium curry powder
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbls lemon juice
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup raisins – optional
1/4 cup slivered almonds

TOPPING
1 cup water (original recipe calls for sour cream but I use water to avoid using dairy)
Salt & pepper
2 eggs
6 bay leaves

METHOD
Oven 180 C (350F)

1. In a frying pan on top of the stove brown the mince well in a little oil, breaking it up with the back of a fork or slotted spoon as it is browning. Remove and set aside.
2. Sauté the onion in  oil til glassy and then add the garlic & ginger.
3. Cook 1 minute then add meat.
4. Remove the crusts from the bread and soak in the stock. Work the bread into mince mixture ensuring that there are no lumps of bread.
5. Add the rest of the ingredient up to but not including the apricots. Mix well. Transfer half the meat mixture to a casserole dish.


6. Sprinkle with the apricots, raisins & almonds and then add the rest of the meat.


7. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes
8. In the meantime mix all the topping ingredients.
9. Remove from the oven and pour over topping over the meat (except for the bay leaves).
10. Push the leaves into the mixture.
11. Continue baking uncovered for 20 minutes until the custard is set.
12. Serve hot over yellow Rice.

To make yellow rice. Make rice as normal but add 1/2 tsp tumeric powder to the water before boiling.

Lamb Stew

INGREDIENTS

2 kgs (4 lbs) stewing lamb
2 large onions  – cubed
4 large carrots – cut into quarters and cubed
2 sticks celery- sliced in half and cubed
250g green string beans
125g mushrooms
2 baby marrow – cut in half and cubed
1 sweet potato – peeled and cut into large cubes.
2 potatoes – cut into cubes
1½ cups red wine – I used a merlot
2 tbls oil
1 tbls Italian mixed herbs
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tbls stock powder
1 1/2 cups water
Salt &  freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbls cake flour mixed with a little cold water

METHOD

Heat a frying pan and add oil. Add lamb in batches and brown on both sides. Remove to casserole dish with lid. Once all browned add onions to oil and cook a few minutes. Add carrots & celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Add wine and bring to boil. Add rest of ingredients and bring back to the boil. Pour over the lamb in the casserole. Cover with the lid and place into a 180°C (350°F) oven for 1/2 an hour. Reduce heat to 140°C (250°F) and cook for 3 hours. Stir occasionally.

TIP: Can be done in a slow cooker on low overnight.

 

Perfect Pesto Sauce

IMG_7210Fresh basil, crushed garlic, roasted pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil is all you need to turn plain pasta into a culinary delight. The pesto sauce can be made in the time it takes for the pasta to boil. It can also be made days, or even weeks, in advance and stored in the refrigerator

INGREDIENTS

Large bunch fresh sweet basil, stems removed
2 cloves of fresh garlic peeled
50grms pine nuts
salt & freshly ground pepper
¼ cup olive oil
Optional: 50grms finely grated parmesan cheese (if you’re planning on storing this in the fridge for longer than a week, only add the Parmesan when serving)

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METHOD

Toast  pine nuts in a dry frying pan till light golden. IMG_0529 Place basil & garlic in a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Add pine nuts and salt & pepper and blend for 1 minute. IMG_0530 With motor running slowly add olive oil until everything is combined. Pour into a container and and cover with a layer of oil (this prevents the pesto from going black) IMG_0531 Once the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta and spoon a few tablespoons of pesto sauce onto the hot pasta. IMG_0535Mix and serve with finely grated Parmesan cheese IMG_0537