Its not New But it Works!!!!

Image

Wake up in the morning and fry eggs, or better poach them, then go ahead and fry crispy bacon, toast your bread and make rosettes of butter – set the table and press some orange juice while you at it! sit down and have a peaceful morning while enjoying your breakfast. Then proceed to drive to work RIGHT?

So if you are trying to get through an SA traffic prior to work whether it be on Beyers Naude or from Parklands to Cape Town, you will have to leave home atleast by 6:30 in the morning…..so NOT AYOBA (meaning not Cool!).

So a Smoothie will do, its not new, yet it works.

I made these strawberry, banana and almond smoothies while entertaining a friend in Cape Town year 2013. She LOVED them. She loves everything I make – kinda interesting, I guess thats what friends are for 🙂

No recipe today – just gooi (throw) everything together and add a bit of honey or maple syrup and ice blocks until desired thickness and sweetness. Enjoy – better than trying to poach an egg on a working day – you can save that for work free days.

So…I reckon – Revive your smoothie magic, or start  if you’ve never done so!!!

Other Flavour combinations

Berry Bliss – Blend together mixed frozen berries with greek style yoghurt

Goji ‘berrilicious’ – blend mixed berries with a lot of goji berries and honey

Get the Passion on – Blend bananas, passion fruit and a little lemon together

Treat your chocolate craving!!! – melt some chocolate and blend together with some fresh cream, banana’s and hazelnuts if needed (this one is not an everyday option though)

Dont ForgeT the Ice Blocks!!!

Chocolate Mallow & Raspberry Champagne Jelly Hearts

Image

 

The 14th of February is literally  three weeks away… will ‘cupid’s’ arrow hit you :)… well wether it does or not, this is one of those desserts that are just so special and have a great balance between being decadent and refreshingly gorgeous.

I call it the ‘love’ desserts’ as I make it with love, using ingredients that I love so much. Raspberries are so refreshing and balance the rich decadent chocolate.

I don’t know about you, but for me a sweet dream is one of those when there are houses made of sweet treats and you can lie on a bed of chocolate chunks with marsh mallow pillows and oozing melting chocolate fountains draped as curtains :). Yup this one is for the Ladies.. and those Guys that do enjoy the finer things in life :).

Photography by: Farayi Kambarami

Food & Styling by: Thulisa Martins

Ingredients

For the Champagne Jelly

2 gelatine leaves

150ml hot water

25g castor sugar

250ml Champagne/ good quality sparkling wine, I like a pink sparkling wine as its got lovely colour

100g whole fresh raspberries

Method

– Place the water and sugar in a sauce pan and stir to dissolve the sugar.

– Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes on medium to high heat.

– In a separate bowl, pour the champagne/ sparkling wine and add the gelatine leaves, leave them until they are very soft (bout 5 minutes).

– Squeeze the liquid out the gelatine leaves.

– Add the gelatine leave in the sugar syrup and whisk very fast until they are dissolved.

– Combine this mixture with champagne/sparkling wine and half fill into heart shaped moulds.

– When the mixture has started to set slightly, carefully divide the raspberries equally into the moulds.

– Place the moulds in the refrigerator until completely set.

For the Chocolate Mallow 

150g Marshmallows, I like to use the smaller ones

50g butter

150g dark chocolate

100ml milk chocolate

60ml hot water

15ml vanilla extract

160ml fresh whipping cream

100ml mascarpone cheese

Method

– Put the marshmallows, butter, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and hot water in a sauce pan over low heat.

– Stir through until the mallows are melted and set aside to cool slightly.

– Whisk the fresh cream aside until soft peak, add mascarpone and vanilla extract and whisk for 5 minutes.

-Lightly mix the cream mixture into the marshmallow mix until combined.

– Carefully top this mixture on the set jelly moulds and put back in the refrigerator until set.

– De-mould the desserts and serve with melted white chocolate and milk chocolate.

Tip, Place a warm cloth over the base of the mould to assist with de-moulding.

Pan Seared Salmon with Balsamic Reduction

Image

Ok, ok, you –  like most of us are probably searching for that kind of food that will slim the waist line and still taste Yummy right?… for me nothing beats Salmon when it comes to Light yet Tasty!

This is one of the quickest Recipes ever, especially if you want to cook for one, whip up a special dinner for family or friends…. all you’ve got to do is season the salmon fillets with blue salt and Black Pepper. Heat a non-stick pan, add some olive oil and sear the salmon skin side down first for 3-4 minutes, then turn and sear for a further 2 minutes. Drizzle some Crema con Aceto Balsamico di Modena and heat for a further 1minute. Remove from heat and serve with a light salad.

Baby beetroot, crimson red baby leaves, sun dried apricots and quinoa (cooked and cooled) tossed together go very well with the salmon.

…So if you are following a high protein diet, this is the dish for you 🙂

Tip…I like to use Norwegian or Scottish salmon.

Photography by: Farayi Kambarami

Food & Styling by: Thulisa Martins

Lamb cutlets with Exotic Mushrooms

IMG_0469_watermarked (Custom)

As mentioned in a previous post, I love lamb 🙂 this is a more sophisticated way of treating special guests for a dinner party or even a special dinner for two.

Photography by: Farayi Kambarami

Food & Styling by: Thulisa Martins

IMG_0469_watermarked (Custom)

Preparation: 15 minutes (note 2 hours to marinade)

Cooking 10 – 15 minutes

Preheat oven:180◦C

Ingredients

600 – 800g rack of lamb, trimmed

Handful rosemary sprigs, roughly chopped

Handful fresh thyme, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 Tbs olive oil

salt & black pepper to taste

For the Exotic mushrooms

15ml olive oil

5ml garlic, crushed

5ml chilli, finely chopped

5ml fresh ginger, grated

150g exotic mushrooms

100ml mascarpone cheese

50ml fresh cream

salt & black pepper to taste

Tip – some retailers have the garlic, chilli & ginger in one pack ready to cook!

Method

For the Lamb cutlets

– Rub the rack of lamb with olive oil & garlic.

– Rub half of the rosemary & all the thyme on top on the skin and underneath if possible.

– Marinade for at-least two hours in a ziplock bag.

– Remove the lamb from the bag and sear on all sides in a hot pan until brown, a cast iron griddle pan is great for this.

– Carefully season with salt and black pepper – take caution not to burn yourself.

– Roast the lamb until preferred doneness in a preheated 180◦C oven. I prefer to roast mine for 6-8 minutes. then rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

For the exotic mushrooms

– Roughly chop some mushrooms and leave some whole.

– In a frying pan  using the olive oil, sauté the garlic, chilli and ginger for 2 minutes.

-Add the mushrooms and the rest of the rosemary and sauté for a further 3 minutes. Add a little more olive oil if needed.

-Reduce the heat and add the mascarpone and fresh cream, stir through for 2 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.

– Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

To assemble

Serve lamb cutlets with exotic mushrooms, duck fat roast potatoes (search recipe in a previous post), rosa tomatoes and micro leaves.

What inspired the recipe:

IMG_0441_watermarked (Custom)

When I was still in Cape Town and my family had already started to relocate to Johannesburg in the latter part of 2013, I was left alone to cook for one. After a week of takeouts, I had to start cooking for myself as the waist line was starting to expand :). So It was lovely to treat myself with this recipe – its quick, comforting and easy to make.

Watch out for more recipes that I created when I was cooking for one.

…Off-coarse these can be transformed into dinner parties, special dinners, valentines dinners etc.

DIY Smoked Chicken and Chorizo Pita

When you are really pressed for time a DIY lunchbox is the way to go. All you need to do is prepare and assemble different components in the lunch box. Its also a lovely way to keep your loved ones involved.

IMG_6218

Prep: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients

50g smoked chicken, sliced

50g chorizo sausage, sliced

Some cucumber ribbons (I used about 10 ribbons)

1 medium tomato, sliced

Two pitta breads

2 Tbs caramelised balsamic onion (see recipe below)

a spicy sauce of you choice – I used left over periperi

Method

Pack everything individually in a lunch box for you or your loved ones to assemble during lunch time.

IMG_6296

How to make the Caramelised Balsamic onion

1 onion, sliced into rings

2 Tbs Olive oil

100ml water

100ml balsamic vinegar

30ml brown sugar

Method

Heat a saucepan on high heat, add the olive oil and the onion.

Sautee the onion for 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat, then add water and cook for 5 minutes, until the water is almost fully evaporated.

add the balsamic vinegar and sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved.

Cook uncovered until the liquids are almost absorbed and slightly thicker.

Remove from heat and store in an airtight jar.

This can be used as a relish, meal accompaniment or for gourmet hot dogs – watch out for the recipe next week. More can be kept in a jar by bulking up the ingredients.

Tip

To make cucumber ribbons, use a vegetable peeler to carefully shave long strips of cucumber and then place them in icy water for a few minutes. These create a beautiful presentation when used in platters, sandwiches and salads.

Enjoy packing your own lunch or for a loved one

Individually wrapped Prawns with PeriPeri Mayonnaise

So Hubby went back to work on Tuesday and we both decided prior to this day that He will be taking a lunch box to work ‘which would be the first’. Being the foodie that I am – I took on this project with so much enthusiasm and went full speed to the shops to get everything needed for the long awaited lunch boxes.

Today the first lunch box went out –  Individually wrapped Prawns with Avocado & PeriPeri Mayonnaise.

IMG_6173

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Served 1 – 2

Ingredients

– 100g fully cooked frozen medium prawns – with tails removed and defrosted overnight

– Handful crisp lettuce, washed and ready to use

– 30g red sweet pepper, cut into strips

– 30g yellow sweet pepper, cut into strips

– 2 Tbs Mayonnaise

– 1 Tbs good Peri Peri Sauce

– 1 Half ripe Avocado, sliced (I prefer Hass avos)

– 2 Tortilla wraps

– Squeeze of lemon juice – optional

Method

Warm the wraps according to packaging instructions.

Coat the avocado with lemon juice and set aside – prevents discolouration.

Mix the Mayonnaise with PeriPeri sauce.

Layer lettuce, avocado, sweet peppers, prawns and Mayonnaise on the wrap.

Carefully enclose the filling inside the tortilla wrap and secure with a food grade wrapping paper and tie with a ribbon – or a cocktail stick can be used to secure the wraps.

Make sure these are packaged in a cooler lunch box.

Tip

If you coat the avocado with lemon juice, avoid direct contact with the prawns when layering as this might cook the prawns further.

photo

Watch out for more Lunch Ideas!

Balsamic Strawberries

Strawberries and Balsamic go very well together.

img_0429.jpg

Sometimes when I need to whip up something while pressed for time, more like when you get those calls that a friend is coming over or Hubby is bringing a friend over –  I pop some fresh flavourburst strawberries (with leaves removed) in a non stick pan.  Then quickly heat them on medium to high temperature for 5 minutes with a balsamic reduction sprinkled at the bottom of the pan. I then serve this cooled with vanilla ice cream or mascarpone cheese. Hope this will be helpful to you too!

Lamb Chops with minted Peas and duck fat roast Potatoes

I love lamb chops and at one stage, I made  a team that I worked with drive around Johannesburg so that we can find a place that sold good lamb chops.

IMG_4452[1]

As a guide use lamb chops that weigh approximately 150g each and are about 3cm thick.

Recipe

4 lamb chops
Handful fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed

15ml olive oil

60ml olive oil

250g frozen minted Peas (or 245g frozen peas and 10g chopped fresh mint leaves)
100g Potatoes, cut into 4-5cm cubes
3 Tbs sifted cake flour
1 Tbs duck fat
salt and pepper to taste

IMG_4465[1]

Method

preparation: 20 minutes, note lamb chops to be marinated for 2 hours

LAMB CHOPS
Cooking time: 15 – 20minutes

• Rub the garlic and rosemary with 15ml olive oil and place in a food grade storage bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Overnight is even better.
• Heat a heavy base griddle pan (preferably cast iron) on high heat.
• Add the lamb chops to brown for 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Then place in a pre-heated 180C oven for 10- 15 minutes.
• Remove from heat , season to taste and rest the chops for 5 minutes before serving.

DUCK FAT POTATOES
Cooking time: 30 minutes

• Parboil the potatoes in salted water until slightly soft on the outside (still hard in the middle), approximately 5 – 10 min.
• Drain the potatoes and carefully coat in cake flour.
• Place duck fat in a big enough roasting pan to fit the potatoes in a single layer.
• Heat the duck fat in a 180C pre-heated oven until melted.
• Remove pan from heat, increase the oven temperature to 200C.
• Using A slotted spoon, place the coated potatoes in the hot fat with care.
• Roast potatoes for approximately 20 min until golden brown, coat the top of potatoes halfway through with the fat from the pan. Place the potatoes on a food grade absorbent paper to drain off access fat and season to taste.

Tip: cook frozen peas according to packaging instructions, if not minted already, add fresh mint toward the last few minutes of cooking.

Please monitor the cooking time based on your oven as cooking appliances vary.