“ Take us on a journey and share with us your recipes and thoughts on food from around the world. „
I'm not a very good cook, in fact I'm quite lousy. However I went on weight-watchers (I had 6 stone to lose) so I had to learn to cook to get the best out of point system! I'm mainly vegetarian as I'm not keen on meat though occasionally I'll have a little, but I do love fresh fruit and vegetables and I do love fish.
This recipe is effortless, it looks great and is impressive to serve someone!
'Foxy's Portuguese style Halibut'
1 red pepper
1 yellow Pepper
3 and a half Oz's fresh plum tomatoes (any will do really), halved
1 shallot, finely chopped
6 black olives, pitted
Half a teaspoon of Italian herbs (dried)
Salt and ground pepper
1 tsp clear honey
1 tbsp red wine or red wine vinegar (red wine vinegar is better)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 Halibut steaks (each about 9oz, but just the size you wish really)
Freshly chopped parsley
Heat up oven to 200c/1800c fan/gas mark 6.
Cut peppers in half , removing the stalk and the seeds and place them under a very hot grill until the skins began to burn. Peel off the skins of the peppers and then cut the peppers into fine strips and place them in a shallow, ovenproof dish.
Arrange the tomatoes, shallot and olives on top of the peppers and sprinkle with the herbs. Season with as much or as little of the salt and peppers as desired.
Drizzle over the honey, wine and olive oil.
Place in the oven for five minutes then put the halibut steaks on the top and return to the oven for fifteen minutes until the fish looks juicy but cooked (IE not like jelly)
Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
I always serve this with brown rice to my step dad who watches his cholesterol but me i like it with roasted potatoes! I've never tried it with other fish but I'm sure it'd be just as good with a white fish like cod.
It takes about 35 minutes to prepare and cook and this recipe serves 2.
I'm not quite sure of the calories but as I did it on weight watchers it would have been below 450 a portion and it is low in fat!
If you are entertaining and fancy something different then why not have a Japanese meal? Japanese food is not all raw fish and sushi! The Japanese diet is much healthier than many western diets but many people are put off because they hate the thought of eating raw fish!
I suppose to many of us the idea of "raw" fish brings to mind the fishmonger stall in either the markets or supermarkets, where there is a display of whole fishes, complete with heads, eyes and tails. They don't look exactly appetising do they! This is NOT what sushi is like!
However, the Japanese do eat whole fish, but usually if they are served this way they are cooked first! Although, you may have seen the fish swimming around in a tank before it is caught and cooked for your meal! In fact in some Japanese restaurants you are given a fishing rod to catch your own and it is then cooked for you. So, that destroys the first myth that the Japanese only eat raw fish!
Sushi is only one version of a dish where the fish is raw, It consists of small bite size pieces of rice, often wrapped in "nori" (sheets of crispy seaweed) and then topped with a tiny piece of raw fish. It looks very appetising and when dipped into soy sauce tastes delicious. Stir a TINY piece of wasabi into the soy sauce first - wasabi is like a VERY STRONG mustard so use it sparingly! You can use salmon or any kind of fish to top the rice but only tiny pieces remember.
Another Japanese dish is sashimi, which consists of bite size pieces of raw fish, beautifully presented - imagine miniature fillets of fish and that is what it is like. Again, this is dipped in soy sauce and eaten in one piece and certainly does not taste at all "fishy".
One of my favourite Japanese dishes is okonomi-yaki, which is a mixture of vegetables and a batter mixture. You can add any kind of vegetables to the batter, shred them into fine strips and then mix into the batter and drop spoonsful into the frying pan, or onto a griddle, to form a small "pancake". This is a useful way to use up left over vegetables and makes a filling dish.
"Yaki" means "fried" in Japanese and when I first went to Japan I did not like the thought of eating raw fish. I would amuse my friends by saying I wanted to eat something "yaki" and not yukky!!
You may have been to a Japanese restaurant in the UK called Teppanyaki. These restaurants are named after the Japanese "teppan-yaki" which is beef and vegetables, fried at your table. You can do this at home if you have a griddle (I bought mine off one of the tv shopping channels).
I often cook teppan-yaki, it is great fun for an informal evening with friends. Put the griddle on the table and set out the food the Japanese way, with individual dishes of the ingredients. Prepare thin slices of beef, cut into small portions, and have different kinds of sliced vegetables. Your guests then select what they want to eat and place it on the griddle. You can use any kind of vegetables and don't just have to use beef, you can use other kinds of meat, such as chicken or pork. If you like you can marinate the meat in soy sauce before placing it on the grill, pork is especially tasty done in this way.
In Japan there are restaurants which specialise in "yaki niku" which is basically the same idea as teppanyaki. However, unlike the UK restaurants the prepared raw ingredients are brought to your table and you cook them yourself. There will be a cooking stove in the centre of the table and you just cook and eat the different foods as they are brought to you.
If you fancy a different kind of meal with friends then it is simple to do this on a Japanese theme. Presentation of a Japanese meal is very important and an art in itself. Everything is daintily presented and decorated with garnishes of a sprig of herbs or sometimes a tiny leaf or flower (not to eat though).
Many supermarkets now sell ready prepared sushi. You can then prepare your own sliced fish or meat and lots of different vegetables. The Japanese really do have an artistic talent about the way they present food, they don't just slap everything onto one plate like with a traditional English meal!
You will need lots of small bowls or dishes, each person is given a plate to eat their food from, but they are also given their own portions of vegetables. You may also give them rice and/or noodles to accompany the food and of course chopsticks are a must!!!!
Arrange a few slices of ginger onto a plate (you can buy this in supermarkets in a jar, often called "sushi ginger") In between eating the raw fish, guests eat the ginger. I was told in Japan that this, together with wasabi, helps to destroy any bacteria that may be in the fish, so no need to worry about getting anything nasty from eating it raw.
For drinks you can buy Japanese rice wine or "sake". This should be served warm in small cups, not glasses. Or you could serve Japanese beer, which is available at many supermarkets. My favourite is a Japanese plum wine, which is called Umi-shu and is absolutely delicious! The first time Japanese friends offered me this I thought it was fruit juice and didn't realise how potent it was! The Japanese serve this with a plum in the bottom of the glass, but this is quite tart so don't be tempted to eat it!
To end the meal you can serve Japanese green tea - o-cha - this is something of an acquired taste, so do make it fairly weak if your guests are not used to it.
If you really feel you need to serve a dessert then fresh fruit or ice cream is ideal. The Japanese don't usually have desserts with their meals, there are so many small dishes of food that by the time you have eaten these there is little room left for dessert.
Japanese food is very different from Chinese foods, so don't think you can just order a takeaway! The Japanese dishes can be somewhat bland, they don't like anything spicy or "hot". Boiled rice is preferable to fried rice and is served in a small bowl, difficult to master eating this using chopsticks at first so do practise!!!
When setting the table for a Japanese meal try and use pretty dishes, it doesn't matter if they don't all match. If you are giving a summer dinner party then use fresh summer flower petals to decorate the table and as garnish for the food. If in autumn, use colourful leaves.
I have a small water "cascade" in my dining room and the gentle sound of that adds to the atmosphere. Download some Japanese music from the internet and you have the perfect setting for a Japanese evening!
Just remember to say "kampai" instead of "cheers" when you raise your glasses!
When I was younger, Mum would always drag me in the kitchen to learn the secret of the authentic Sicilian pasta sauce. I would hate it of course, but despite all my protests she made me learn it to save money on all the Dolmio abominations! So how do you do it?
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 medium sized onions,
2 medium cloves garlic,
Beef mince, about 200-400g (Don't worry, if you're veggie there is an alternative below!)
2 small tins of tomato puree,
1 tin of chopped tomatoes,
½ tablespoon salt
1 level tablespoon sugar
Ground black pepper
Large pinch of oregano
2-3 sprigs of fresh basil
A large non-stick pan
A wooden spoon
A sharp knife
1. Peel and roughly chop the onion.
2. Warm the pan and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the onion and fry over a medium heat until golden brown.
3. Peel and chop the garlic and add to the onion. Stir regularly.
4. Add the minced beef and break up with the wooden spoon. Fry until there's no sign of red meat.
5. When the meat is cooked, add the two tins of puree and stir. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and stir.
6. Allow to boil. Fill the small tin of puree with boiling water and add to the sauce, repeat 6 times.
7. Let the sauce boil. Add the salt, pepper, sugar, oregano and basil. Adjust to taste as necessary. Stir. (If you have pork chops, sear them in a pan for 5 minutes then add them to the sauce. Cook for at least an hour)
8. Turn the heat down and let the sauce simmer for a minimum of half an hour, the longer the better. Stir regularly.
9. When done, the sauce shouldn't be too thick (add more water if it is too stodgy) or too thin (allow to simmer for another 15 minutes).
VEGGIE ALTERNATIVE: In place of the meat add cubed carrots, and then add the tomatoes and puree, followed by peas, chopped peppers, mushrooms and broccoli. Use a little less sugar as the carrots make the sauce quite sweet.
When you cook the pasta (penne, spaghetti etc), add 2 ladles of sauce to the pan of pasta and stir. Arrange pasta on the plate and pour sauce on top. Add Tabasco if you like it hot, cheddar if you like it creamy or parmesan if you like it authentic!
You can also use this sauce in lasagne and sloppy joes!
Hope you enjoy!
Well heres a recipe i got from my grandmother (my nana) and she didnt give me actual measurements so i generally play things by ear (or eye) to make sure it comes out okay! Its a nice short recipe as my nana was never one to give too much information but my soup is made this way and always comes out tasting yummy!!
Like I said in the advantages - this soup can be a meal in itself served with bread - my husband can eat 4 bowls of this in one sitting - he loves it! So i thought i would share it with all of you!
Take a large pan and half fill it with water. Add a couple of chicken or vegetable stock cubes (according to taste). I use chicken but theres no meat in this soup so using vegetable stock would make it suitable for vegetarians. Use no stock cube and its suitable for vegans too! Once the stock/water is hot add the following according to your preference:
Couple of chopped onions
Half a turnip - chopped
Couple of leeks - chopped
Carrots - sliced or chopped
Plenty of potatoes - peeled and cut into chunks
Allow to boil and then simmer until the potatoes and veg are cooked through. Then serve with bread (or on its own) and enjoy! (This also works as good baby food - add some bread and whizz in the food processor - my girls loved it!)
Fruit and curry probably doesn't seem like an ideal combination, but surprisingly, they go together to make an exceedingly tasty dish. Both sweet and tangy, this is a healthy dish which can be made in under an hour.
This is a home-made recipe which is easy to alter as you prefer. There are a lot of advantages to making your own curry: first, you know exactly what's in it. Secondly, after a little practice, you can make it exactly to your taste. Thirdly, it's cheaper and healthier.
I've also included a calorie count, for those who like to pay attention to the numbers.
First I'll outline my basic recipe, which is vegetarian (I do eat meat it's just too expensive to have on a regular basis), then give a couple of variations on it which I've tried.
Olive oil 2 tsp
1 Large onion OR 2 small onions (90 cal)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic to taste (20 cal per clove)
1 apple (53 cal)
1 orange (59 cal)
1 chicken stock cube (8 cal)
3 tomatoes (60 cal) OR 1 large tin chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (68 cal)
Tomato puree 1 tsp (10 cal)
Curry powder (Mild, Medium or Hot depending on how hot you like it.)
These quantities will make two large servings or three small servings.
Sauce (large serving) 154 calories
Sauce (small serving) 102 calories
Rice (360 cal per 100g)
Alternatives and additions:
1 banana (100 cal)
1 pear (68 cal)
Half an avocado (137 cal)
200g chicken (274 cal)
1. Warm the olive oil in either a pan or a wok on a low heat. I use a pan because the steeper sides make it easier to let the sauce cook, but it works just as well in a wok. If you prefer, use garlic-infused olive oil for a stronger flavour but only if you like your garlic.
2. Peel and chop the onion(s). I prefer to cut the onion into large chunks, as it holds together better and gives a nicer texture, but smaller chunks will also work. Add to the pan, leave on a low heat.
3. Chop and crush the garlic. Add to the pan.
4. Chop the apple, removing the core and stem. If desired, peel first. I don't do this, as the skin softens while cooking, but if you don't like apple peel, whip it off. Add the apple to the pan, stirring to make sure the ingredients soften evenly.
5. Peel and chop the orange into chunks. Add this to the pan.
6. If using fresh tomatoes, chop and add to the pan. Otherwise, open the tin of tomatoes and tip into the pan.
7. Leave this mixture to soften for five minutes on a slightly higher heat, stirring occasionally.
8. If you have used fresh tomatoes, mix the stock cube with 100-200ml of water. How much water you use depends entirely on just what consistency you want. For a thicker curry, use less water. For a thinner curry, use more.
If you have used tinned tomatoes, you do not need to add water as the juice from the tomatoes will act as the base for your sauce just crumble the stock cube into the pan.
9. Add the tomato puree. If you don't have any puree, tomato ketchup is a good substitute, but use slightly less ketchup, as it has a more pungent flavour. If you have used tinned tomatoes, you won't need to add any puree the juice will add the flavour.
10. Taste the sauce. Season to taste.
At this point, I often add a couple of extras, though they aren't necessary. First, a couple of splashes of Henderson's relish (local version of Worcester Sauce), to give it a little extra flavour.
I may also add a pinch of ground ginger don't overdo it with the ginger, unless you want to roast the roof of your mouth right off and/or some ground paprika. For extra sweetness, add desiccated coconut. The sauce is open to experimentation, so if you're feeling creative, see if you can jazz it up.
11. Leave this mix to cook on a low heat for five to ten minutes, stirring regularly.
12. Put the rice on to boil in a separate pan. If you're lazy, like me, boil the water first in a kettle. If you want to boil the water from cold, skip stage 11, and put the rice straight on the hob to cook. For how long to cook the rice for, check the back of your pack it varies.
13. Add the curry powder to the sauce. How much you use is entirely optional; I tend to put in three or four heaped teaspoons, but I recommend you add the powder a little at a time, tasting continuously, until you find a strength that suits you.
I tend to use mild or medium powder, but this curry tastes just as good with hot powder (though you may want to keep a glass of water nearby).
14. Cover the sauce and simmer on a low heat, stirring every couple of minutes. If the sauce becomes thicker than you want, add a little water, stirring continuously. Only add water a little at a time to keep the consistency even.
15. When the rice has boiled, drain and serve. Add the sauce, serve hot, with Naan bread if preferred.
Voila, one fruity curry.
* Chicken Curry *
After Step 2, dice 2 chicken breasts (on a separate chopping board). I tend to cut it into big chunks, as these hold together well, but strips or slices will also work.
Add some oil to a separate pan and cook the chicken. If you want to add extra flavour, marinade the chicken in a little olive oil and some paprika first. Once cooked, add to the pan with the apple. Follow the rest of the instruction as written above.
* Other meat *
I have yet to test this, but I don't see why you couldn't use a different meat and stock cube in the same way as the chicken (i.e. chopped steak and a beef stock cube).
* Other fruit *
I've used a variety of other fruit in this recipe: for any others you want to add, put them in between the apple and the orange, with more solid fruits going in first and softer fruits in last.
Pears make a very tasty addition to this dish, giving it extra sweetness. Banana tends to dissolve into the sauce, giving it extra texture and thickness. Kiwis taste delicious, but unfortunately the seeds are hard and gritty, so I wouldn't recommend adding them.
* Extra creaminess *
If you want your curry to be a little thicker and creamier, add either 2 tsp of cream, or a teaspoonful of cream cheese before putting in the curry powder. This really does taste delicious, and if you don't add curry powder, can in fact be used as a pasta sauce.
* Extra kick *
Add a shot of vodka. But don't drive afterwards.
* Extra kick and fruitiness *
Add a shot of crème de banane. Still don't drive
- Other suggestions
If you have any left-over sauce, put it in a plastic bag and freeze to reheat for another day. Just pop it in a pan and wait for it to defrost.
If you don't want to eat this with rice, have it a side serving of vegetables, some pasta, or a bowl of side-salad. Who says curry always has to be eaten with rice?
This is a healthy homemade dish which has a sweet and tangy taste. It takes between thirty minutes and an hour to cook, and serves two to three people, though the recipe can easily be expanded to accommodate more. It uses cheap and easily available ingredients, and is very simple to change according to your taste.
I hope you enjoyed reading it!
Curries are allegedly the national food of the U.K. these days, overtaking fish and chips and pie and mash. Lets face it, when was the last time you took her indoors out for a fish supper? No, cuisine in these-them days, tends to be more inventive and creative. With the input of modern man and kitchen utensils being like power tools to even the most incompetent of amateur Jamie Olivers, cooking is no longer considered a womans job, but a fashion icon for the plucky feathered egotistical male.
I fit that bill.
I love the kitchen and regularly unwind after a 12 hour day by chucking a few fresh veg and bits of hacked poultry into a wok and creating spicy mayhem for my taste buds to dance with, so my recent Asian period has erupted in curry madness in my household and new experiences are welcomed with open mouth.
Without further ado, my own Krikey! Korma recipe.
Okay, ingredients are pretty standard and can be found on you local Tescos. For fresher ingredients, try a Sunday Market or Indian supermarket if you have one near bye.
2 Tablespoons blanched almonds.
3 Garlic cloves.
1 Ginger root.
3 Cardamom pods.
1 teaspoon ground Turmeric.
3 curry leaves.
I teaspoon chilli powder.
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 tablespoon fresh ground Cumin seeds
2 dried birds eye Chillis.
1 large onion.
2 peppers (capsicums).
1lb chicken cubed.
250ml natural Yoghurt.
250 ml double cream.
Handful of fresh Coriander.
Now you can add anything you want to curries, that is the beauty of them. No 2 curries should taste the same.
Take the almonds, garlic and ginger and stick them in your blender adding 2 table spoons of water or a bit more if you like to make it slightly moist and easy to remove. If you do not have a blender and need to make this quickly, you can buy powdered versions of all three ingredients here, but add half again to make up for the lack of flavour that you would normally expect from fresh.
Cook chicken separately for 10 minutes and set aside for later.
Add 2 table spoons of olive/peanut/sesame oil to the wok, heat and add the cardamom pods, (TIP> for extra taste, bite the pods until the give, releasing a sweet aniseed taste into your mouth.) and fry for 2 minutes, releasing the flavour into the oil. Add the finely chopped onion and peppers and fry for 5 minutes. Add paste (ginger, garlic and almonds) and stir until thoroughly mixed with veg. Add all the other spices and mix into paste. Save a small amount of coriander leaves to dress the curry with for presentation. Fry for a further 3 minutes, then whip the yoghurt with a fork and add to paste slowly mixing in well. Then chuck the cream in and also mix well into what should now be a fiery coloured mixture, and then add chicken and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
While that is simmering, fry a handful of chopped mushrooms in a separate frying pan, add 2 cups of water, 1 tsp turmeric and bring to the boil. Add 1 cup of basmati rice and simmer covered for 15 minutes and serve.
Spoon the curry over the rice and dress with the Coriander leaves.
A lovely spicy curry without the aftertaste of say, a Vindaloo or Madras.
To grind my own spices, I use a coffee bean grinder as I much prefer the results and time it takes rather than using a pestle and mortar.
This whole meal takes about half an hour to make and should feed 3 adults as a main meal or 4 adults if having naan bread or starters.
It can be frozen and will keep fresh in fridge for about 3 days afterwards if covered in airtight container.
Add other spices if you wish and remove some if you prefer. The great thing about curries is that they are unique dishes and no 2 restaurants taste the same.
please skip this first bit to be able to read the review with capital letters intact. welcome. welkom. isibingelelo. siya namkela nonke. Sondzela. goroganga ka pula. tama. kamohelo. siyaalemukela. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. hello, how are you? dagse, hoe gaan dit? molo, kunjani? Sawubona, Unjani? dumela, le kae? helele, o kae? av
uxeni, ku njhani? ndaa, vho vuwa hani? yebo , le kae? Yes, if you go to South Africa you really will see "curried bunnies" on offer at almost any take-away stall or church bazaar, but before you grab the pet rabbit and run for cover let me explain. No rabbits have ever died to make a curried bunny... ...and there are no sisters out in South Africa named Koek! Confused? Most newcomers are. Blame it on a country with 9 official indigenous languages plus 2 official "introduced" and at least 5 other immigrant tongues and you start to understand why a menu in South Africa could sound like it was printed in Babel! Local indigenous food has been mixed with Dutch, English, Malaysian, German, Indian and French. The result is a food selection that can range from sublime to startling. Blended cultures and languages has created recipes with names and flavours unique to South Africa. "Cape Malay" curries are more fruity and "tropical" than Indian curries and yet more robust in flavour than traditional Malaysian dishes. Sadly there are still very few restaurants in South Africa that offer traditional favourites. South Africans themselves would rather eat out and try something different so most times your only bet to get decent traditional fare is to be invited to someone's home for dinner or make it yourself. Things are changing as tourism booms, but you're still more likely to find the tourist restaurants offering wild game and steaks rather than waterblommetjies, bredies and sosaties. I love Southern African food. I draw the line at deep-fried white ants and sun-dried mopani worms, but otherwise I've eaten it all including chakalaka, putu, maas, samp and beans and the fearfully named Curried Bunny! The two greatest influences have been the Dutch and the Malay. The Dutch first arrived in 1652. As a stop over port on the way to the Dutch East Indies it wasn'
t surprising that the first labourers brought to the colony were Malaysian/East Indian. They intermarried with local peoples as well as other migrants and the result was the "Cape Malay", a people culturally as beautifully blended as their cuisine. When the Dutch allowed fleeing French Huguenots to settle in the Cape in the late 1600s they came up with a clever plan. New immigrants were placed in such a way on the farms that every Dutch farmer had a French neighbour. The idea was to force the two cultures to mix and become one and it worked. From these beginnings came the Afrikaner people. The Afrikaans language is a hybrid that has only the faintest signs of French in it's pronunciations, but you'll find plenty of Malaysian words from piesang to blatjang. Their food is a similar mix of spicy "boerekos" (farm food), but their wines are pure French! It was the Huguenots who brought their vines with them when they fled religious persecution and it's to them South Africa owes their wonderful Cape vineyards and glorious wines and brandies. Up until recently indigenous food has had the least recognition, but this is changing. Many cultural day tours end with traditional meals. Be warned - the people of Southern Africa like their food spicy and some dishes can be alarmingly hot. I never yet met a curry as fiery as a chakalaka. So what the heck are all these weirdly named foods? I'm going to give a few basic explanations and then a few basic recipes. White ants are pretty obvious. Big fat termites that come out to fly and form new colonies in the rains when the ground is soft. Inland people rural really do eat them. Apparently they?re very tasty and fry up rather like bacon. Mopani worms are actually a caterpillar that is sold dried in large bags like big bags of crunchy pork rinds. They can be eaten as-is or re-hydrated and used in stews. Sad to say they are now an endangered species due to thei
r being considered such a staple food in several African countries. They are also farmed for their silk for clothing and textiles. I've never eaten either although I have seen them.. or maybe that should read "I've never eaten either BECAUSE I have seen them"?! On a good boerekos menu you'll find two Malaysian-influenced foods: bredies - which are spicy stews, and sosaties - which are meat cubes marinated and then grilled on sticks, like Malaysian satays. Sosaties are best made with mutton, but any meat will do and chicken are quite popular nowadays. Sosaties bought in a supermarket are usually a sad tasteless version of the originals. A good sosatie should be gently curried with a strong sweet-sour fruity flavour. Grilled over an open fire they're delicious. Bredie's are usually mutton with some veggie. You do get a version with waterblommetjies which is popular in the Cape. These are the buds of an edible water lily (water blossoms). The most famous of South African foods are boerewors and koek susters. Boerewors is a sausage that is to be found on every braai/barbecue on a hot Southern summer evening. Good boerewors is very nice, bad boerewors is disgusting. Don't ever buy cheap brands from a supermarket. YUCK. Real boerewors is a mix of beef, mutton, pork and/or game minced coarsely and mixed with coriander, vinegar and other spices. Cheap supermarkets will give you finely minced gristle and rubbish meats with a bit of pepper. Koek Susters, often miss-spelt "sisters", translate as slurpy/sizzly cakes. They are a favourite sweet and can be found everywhere. Sold at bazaars, supermarkets and roadside vendors. They're a light yeast dough that is cut into strips and braided into oblongs about the size of an éclair. These are deep fried and then dropped right away into an ice-cold delicately flavoured syrup. The sudden temperature change causes the dough to suck up the syrup - hence t
he name. A good koek suster should be still crisp on the outside yet translucent, soft and oozing sweet golden syrup when bitten into. Cape Malay cooking is fruity and aromatic. The most famous foods are sosaties and bobotie. Bobotie is basically a curried meat loaf. It's usually made of lamb mince and is full of dried fruit and spices. Delicious served with yellow rice and home-made blatjang (chutney). I've been to braais at both ends of the Southern African culture spectrum and you'll find there are slight food differences from one culture to another. In Afrikaans or English homes sosaties and boerewors are both favourites with marinated chicken and potjies sometimes taking preference. Potjies are just stews cooked out of doors in little cast iron pots like witches cauldrons. Served with salads and bread or rolls, coke.. and lots of beer. The more traditional old folk still prefer putu or sadza to bread. These are both a maize meal porridge cooked quite stiff and eaten with the meat or with a rich meat gravy poured over it. Think something similar in taste to Mexican tacos since they're also made with corn/maize meal. At my Xhosa friend's braais we have chops and steaks rather than marinated meats. Sausages too. Bean salads and a really nice spiced cooked cabbage salad that she still owes me the recipe for. Served with rolls, wine.. and lots of beer. At my Cape Malay friend's home we always have chilli bites. Little balls of savoury curried dough and vegetables deep fried and crispy. On her braais you'll find sosaties and all sorts of marinated chicken. Served with salads, rolls, coke.. and lots of beer. In the everyday food fare you'll find more simple things on sale at take-aways. Samp and beans is popular and I can vouch it's very tasty. Samp is dried bean kernels that have been stamped and chopped until broken up. They're soaked and boiled with white kidney beans. This can be eaten by itsel
f or with a meat stew. Chakalaka is an African spicy vegetable mix which in South Africa I just bought in a can from the supermarket. It is very VERY hot so I'd mix it with half a tin of tomatoes. Nice cold or hot. I really miss it and a kind friend back home recently got me a recipe to make my own. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like the same mix as the canned version. CHAKALAKA Serves 6 60ml oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed 30 ml root ginger, peeled & grated 3 small chillies (or not if you don't want it hot), seeded & chopped 30 ml curry powder 1 x 400g can, whole peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped 1 green pepper, seeded & chopped 2 carrots, coarsely grated 100g green beans, topped & tailed 3 courgettes, cut into rounds Salt & pepper, to taste - Heat oil in a large saucepan & sauté onions until soft & transparent. - Add garlic, ginger & chilli, cook for a minute or two before adding curry powder, the cook for another minute to develop flavour. - Add vegetables, bring to the boil then turn down the heat & simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked, adding water if necessary. Season to taste. And another family favourite from my grandfather: GREEN BEAN BREDIE Serves 6 2 tablespoons oil 1-1/2 pounds lamb, with a bit of fat, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 cup coarsely chopped onions 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger root 1/2 cup water 2-3 cups fresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 1" lengths (1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh hot chilli peppers- optional) salt and pepper - In a large skillet heat the oil over moderate heat. - Add the lamb and brown it in batches. Transfer to a plate. - Add the onions, garlic, and ginger, and cook over low heat. Return the meat to the skillet. <
br>-Cover tightly, and simmer for 30 minutes over the lowest heat. Stir in the rest and bring to a boil. - Cover again, reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour, (You can add small potatoes here if you like) stirring occasionally. - Taste for seasoning and serve immediately with rice. Now a Cape Malay traditional: BOBOTIE Serves 4 to 6 oil for frying 2 onions chopped 1 kg Minced lamb (or beef, but lamb is nicer) 1 cup milk 1 egg 1 cup corn flakes, crushed. (take small handfuls and crunch them up) 1\2 cup raisins soaked in a bit of fruit juice or water to plump up. 1 Tb (Tablespoon) apricot jam 2 Tbs Chutney (or a tart apricot jam or fruit pickle relish) Juice 1 lemon 4 tsps curry powder (mild or hot to your taste. I prefer mild as the flavours of the fruit are nicer) 2 Tbs vinegar 1\ 2 Tbs Turmeric 1 tsp (teaspoon) each salt and pepper 1 Tb sugar Topping: 2 eggs and 1/4 cup milk (1/ cup almonds sliced - OPTIONAL) - Fry the onion till soft and light golden. Put in a large bowl and set aside. - Fry the mince nice and brown. Add to the onion in bowl. - Add all the rest (except topping) and stir well. - Place in uncovered greased casserole. Bake 350% F. for +- 25 minutes. - now prepare topping by mixing eggs and milk well. - take out the casserole and pour mixture over top. You can sprinkle almond slices on top as well. - bake a further +- 20 minutes. Serve with rice cooked in turmeric and a sweet chutney. Goes well with a green salad too. ..but you still want to know about those curried bunnies, don't you? ;) Quite simple. Take a yeast dough and break into pieces the size of small bread rolls. Deep fry until they are crisp as a doughnut on the outside and bread-like on the inside. Split open and fill with curried mince and you now have a "curried bunny"! These are als
o called vetkoek (fat cake) and served at every school cafeteria either as the curry bunny version or just with jam. I ate dozens over my school years. No one knows the exact origins of this unique South African "bunny" slang description although it's supposed to have originated amongst the Indian restaurant community in Natal. The name's a turn off and in some cases so is the "bunny". Really cheap take-aways serve really cheap and nasty "Bunny Chows" which are dodgy mince in a hollowed out half loaf instead of a vetkoek. Cheap versions are horrific, but a well-made one with decent savoury mince served up at a fair (or School "tuck shop") makes a really nice lunch. I won't even try adding the Koek suster recipe. Those things are a fine art. If the syrup too cold or the dough not fried crisp enough you can have total disasters. They are better left prepared by the pros. If you want to end your meal with a South African sweet go for fruit salad and ice cream or trifle. Thanks to the British colonial influence trifle is the most likely pudding you'll be served at Christmas or at any party or school fete. If you want more information try checking out the South African recipe books on offer at: http://www.rainbownation.com/store/books
I love curry but I do dislike the half dozen or so genuine and traditional dishes prepared by our Asian friends. For some reason they appear to love their bones, fat and oil, and these three ingredients I do detest. I appreciate cooking meat on the bone has more flavour, and many flavours are suspended in oil, but I do not want them dished up on my plate. So here is my highly anglasised version of curry that is tasty, nutritious, warming, filling and easy to prepare. Apologies to our Asian friends but this is much nicer. Raw lamb is by far the tastiest meat for curries, it really holds the flavours, I use totally lean leg or loin. The easiest way to get a nice piece is to cut a chunk off your Sunday roast, buy a leg one size bigger than you would usually, alternatively, look on the meat counter for a whole piece of really lean leg or loin, never go for ready diced, you don’t know what it is and they make up the weight with all the bits of fat and gristle left in it. As with all my savoury cooking, precise quantities are not essential, it is all a matter of taste and what you’ve got lying around in the cupboards and fridge, so this “recipe” may sound a bit imprecise. So; raw lamb, remove every bit of fat and sinew and cut into one inch dice. Onions, take two large ones and cut into mixture of dice and slice. Fresh peppers, two large red, green or yellow, and dice into large pieces. Garlic, take about three large cloves, peel and chop and crush under a knife. Celery, wash, cut off any brown ends and the flowers and slice very finely about three sticks. Find a large or two small tins of plum tomatoes or chopped tomatoes. Take a small quarter tin or use a tube of tomato puree. Look through the cupboard for any herbs and spices you have handy. Take a large heavy saucepan, a pressure cooker base is ideal, and add a puddle of olive oil, and a knob of butter in the middle, the mixture will stop each other burning, and warm
gently. Add the diced lamb and stir and sizzle gently till the outside of all the pieces are browned. Add the celery and continue frying very gently for a couple of minutes, I always cook celery longer as I like the taste but not the texture so it needs to be well cooked. Add the onion and peppers and carry on cooking until soft, another five minutes or so, and then the garlic. Keep stirring all the time keeping the heat high enough to fry but not to burn or stick. Turn off the heat and stir in a teaspoon each of dried herbs, turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, chilli powder and three teaspoons of mild or hot curry powder, any variety, and the same quantity of flour. Mix it all in till it is a pretty revolting looking brown mass, add the tomato puree, that whole small tin or about a quarter of a tube, and then blend in the tomatoes and turn on the heat again to bring it up to the boil, start stirring again or the tomato juice will start to spit everywhere. Add some beer, any type, one of those 250ml bottle or a third of a large can, also some homemade stock if you have any. Peel, core and dice an apple, crisp green one, and drop that in. Once it is up to boiling point turn it way down till it just stays simmering, ideally put the pan on a heat mat or simmer plate to stop any danger of burning. Cover the pan with a plate to keep in the steam and flavours. With the occasional stir let it brew away for a good half an hour to forty five minutes and then take a sample of meat, it should be tender, tasty and succulent; and a sample of apple which should be really soft, this will tell you that all the other vegetables are cooked enough. Give a final stir, put a clean plate over the top and put the pan somewhere really cool like the garage and leave it for at least twelve hours. So make it today for tomorrow’s lunch or supper. Either way this waiting game makes all the difference, it will be far tastier; personally I prefer curr
y as an evening meal. So when the time comes to tuck in, re-heat it thoroughly stirring occasionally till it reaches boiling point. If it is too thin let it simmer away for a bit, too thick add a bit more beer. Take it off the heat and stir in a pot of plain yoghurt, preferably home made. In the meantime make some plain rice. Whatever you fancy, either plain: well washed, boiled for ten minutes and rinsed again in hot water; or pilaff style ie rinsed, add twice as much water or home made stock, bring to boil and simmer till all liquid absorbed. Now you can really enjoy it, homemade green tomato chutney goes well and room temperature red wine or your favourite beer goes down well. So apologies again to my Asian friends but this is much nicer. Try it. Experiment too, adjust the amount of chilli and curry powder as to how hot you like it. Look around those shelves of herbs and spices in the shops, and try any you fancy the look or smell of, curries should be personal and the best thing is every one you make will be different.
One of my favourite pastimes is trying International cuisine, which can be expensive if I always eat out. I’m not the greatest cook in the world but I do like cooking so I’m quite often found in the kitchen experimenting with recipes from around the world. I’ve mastered a couple of Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Italian and Indonesian dishes and would like to share a couple of simple Indonesian recipes with you. Nutty Corn Pancakes 2 corncobs 1 cup roasted peanuts 3 spring onions chopped into small pieces 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger 1 clove of garlic, crushed 1 teaspoon cumin 1 egg 2 tablespoons rice floor half cup peanut oil Remove niblets from cobs of corn with a sharp knife and combine in a food processor with the peanuts, spring onions, ginger, garlic and cumin, until finely chopped and slightly mushy the put mixture into a bowl. Lightly beat the egg and add to mixture, add the rice floor and mix well. Heat the peanut oil in a pan, spoon tablespoons of the mixture into the pan and flatten with the back of the spoon. Cook over medium heat until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. The nutty corn pancakes take about ten minutes to prepare and ten minutes to cook and I like to serve them with a cold vegetable salad. Cold Vegetable Salad Spinach leaves cut into strips Runner beans, topped and tailed Snow pea sprouts Bean sprouts 1 red capsicum, cut into fine strips 1 large onion finely sliced Remove stem from spinach, slice leaves thinly. Cut beans into about 10 cm lengths, Remove stems from snow pea sprouts. Place beans in pan of boiling water, cook for 1 minute to blanch, drain. Combine spinach, beans, snow pea and bean sprouts, capsicum and onion in a serving bowl. The cold vegetable salad is really nice with a spice dressing Spice Dressing 2 tablespoons pea
nut oil 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 1 small red chilli, chopped 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut 1 tablespoon brown vinegar About a third of a cup of water Heat oil in a pan, add garlic, ginger, chilli and coconut, stir-fry for about one minute. Add vinegar and water and simmer for a further minute, remove from heat and let the dressing cool. Add the dressing to the cold vegetable salad and toss until well mixed. Vegetable Curry (My Dad's Speciality) Two medium potatoes One small eggplant One hundred and fifty grams of sugar peas One carrot One medium Chinese cabbage One onion Two tablespoons of peanut oil Two cloves of garlic Two teaspoons grated fresh ginger Two teaspoons of curry powder One teaspoon lemon juice Rind of half a lemon, grated One-cup water One-cup coconut milk First of all peel and chop the potatoes and eggplant into cubes of about one to two centimetres in size, slice the sugar peas into strips about two centimetres long, shred the cabbage, thinly slice the carrot and cut the onion into fairly large pieces. Heat the peanut oil and then add the onion and stir-fry for about two minutes then add the ginger, garlic and curry powder and continue to stir-fry for about another two minutes. Add the lemon rind, lemon juice, water and coconut milk and bring the mixture to the boil. Put in the potatoes and eggplant cubes and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Add the sugar peas, cabbage and carrot and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, this should take about another five minutes. It takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to prepare the vegetables and other ingredients for this curry and about twenty to twenty-five minutes to cook the meal. "Jill Murphy asked me to write about one of my favourite things to help her celebrate
her fourth anniversary of cancer-free living and to remind ourselves of all the nice things in the world. It takes more muscles to make a frown than a smile you know. If you'd like to join in, whether you've only just joined dooyoo, or you've been here ages, you're more than welcome. Just write about one of YOUR favourite things, make your title "A Favourite Thing: [your choice]" and include this paragraph at the foot of your opinion. And post before Friday, 9th August."
I don't know if you can quite call Vanilla Coke "international cuisine" although the idea is rather american and I found it rather surprisining not to find a category for soft drink. So please bare with me if you were looking for reviews for fine french cuisine. Coca-Cola has been attempted to regainssome popularity in the flagging cola sector with the launch of a new Vanilla-flavoured Coke variant in the US on the 15th of May. The beverage is to feature new packaging but will retain the recognized Coca-Cola trademark. The market is overwhelmed with soft drink in any shape and with any flavour. The giants in the industry are constantly thinking up new ways of win over the consumer... but really... is a Coca Cola with a little Vanilla flavour the way forward. Well, I guess we will have to see. I bought a Vanilla Coke just after the launch and I have to say I quite enjoyed the experience. Saying that, it is probably doubtful that I will buy one again. It just seems like one of those things that you HAVE to try and you don't really mind the taste of, but you don't really feel an urge to go and buy another one anyway. I would recommend everyone to try one! ... but I still prefer Cherry Coke...
Here's the recipe of one of most known Italian dessert: Tiramisu (or also Tirami su). I dare say this represents the Italian dessert served in every restaurant or private house during summer. But you can try it in winter and all aroud the year as well. Every pastry-shop has its own recipe and every house wife has her own: in common they all have the wonderful taste and the suitability to every situation: from an elegant dinner to a party for children. Tiramisu will be appreciated for his chilling and sweet taste. But here's my own recipe, the way i personally do this; i learned it from my mother and should i ever have a girl i think i'll tell her to do this just in this way. INGREDIENTS - for 12 servings: (be careful everything should be very very fresh, especially eggs and mascarpone cheese - 6 eggs (yolks and whites separated) - 350 gr. sugar - 350 gr. mascarpone cheese (that's an Italian cream cheese) at room temperature - 500 gr ladyfingers biscuits - 4 cups cooled espresso coffee - 2 tbs of Marsala wine (or other sweet wine) - 2 tbs bitter cocoa powder PREPARATION Prepare all the ingredients before you start: it is better if they are at room temperature. Preapare the cream first: beat the egg yolks with the sugar. If you use a fork to do this you it'll take about 10 minutes, other wise you can use an electric whisk that will shorten the time to 3-4 minutes. The cream must become very pale yellow and soft. Add the mascarpone cheese, always stirring, making sure it amalgamates completely. Add also the Marsala wine and keep on stirring gently. At this point put the bowl with the mascarpone cream into the fridge and pass on to the whites. Put them in another bowl, add a sprinkle of salt and beat them using a clean electric whisk until they come stiff and white. Add the whites to the mascarpone mixture, stirr very gently, not with a circular movement but
going upwards and downwards. At the end the mixture should be quite soft but still stiff. And now for the biscuits. Pour the coffee in another bowl and soak quickly the ladyfingerfingers biscuits in this. Be careful not to exceed in soaking the biscuits...do this very quickly: they must get some coffee on both sides but they don't have to soften and break. Once you have soaked each biscuit put them side by side into the serving container (best if it isn't too large; it should be quite high and square or rectangular, just like a baking-pan) making two rows of about 12 buiscuits each. Now pour the mascarpone mixture onto the ladyfingers. Repeat the same procedure (soak the biscuits, make a layer of them, pour the cream)until you finish the biscuits. I think the best way is to have at least five layers (three of cream, two of ladyfingers alternating). Make sure the last layer is made of cream. using a small strainer sprinkle the chocolate powder on the surface of the dessert. Cover with a tin foil and put into the fridge for two hours at least. Serve the dessert cool. Here it is one of the famousest dessert worldwide. I hope i was clear enough and above all that you can find all the ingredients easily there too. As you have seen it quite easy to prepare, it is more difficult to describe the recipe than prapring it. In a refrigeratori it lasts a few days but guess you won't have to bother about this....Enjoy it.
My mother was Spanish and a fabulous cook. Surprisingly (not) I was a large child, how much of this was due to ‘puppy fat’ and how much attributed to the fact that my mum could make a beautiful meal out of a couple of cloves of garlic and a tomato is undecided. As I child one of my most favourite things in the world to have for dinner was a Spanish omelette. Of course, it was never just the omelette; there would have always been plenty of fresh salad with homemade dressing and more often than not fresh crusty (sometimes homemade) bread. I infrequently cook this dish still today, and as it can be eaten both hot or cold should there be any leftovers (never happens in my house) then it can quite easily be stored in the fridge, on a plate covered with clingfilm. This is a great dish to prepare in advance for a BBQ. For Spanish Omelette (Tortilla de España) You will need the following A good omelette pan / a heavy frying pan (non-stick is better) A jug Spatula Plate as large as pan (or larger) Saucepan or deep fat fryer for potatoes Ingredients Potatoes, (I tend to use maris pipers if in season or any good frying potatoes you like) Eggs Salt & Pepper Oil (for both frying potatoes and for greasing omelette pan) Milk Onion (optional) Chorizo (optional) Is a Spanish sausage, made predominantly with pork, salt and spices. First of all, you need to peel your potatoes and chop them into circular slices, make sure that they are all of equal width. Choice is yours should you want them thin or thick, but make them all the same as they will then need the same amount of cooking time. (In some parts of Spain, the potatoes are cubed and cooked in the frying pan, but this is a more ‘user friendly’ way) I put the oil on at this stage as if I were making chips. The way I work out how many potatoes I need is by peeling and chopping a couple an
d then laying them in the pan I am using. They should form a consistent layer of about an inch, thick, as long as they do not stand proud of the top of the pan, it’ll be ok. Then the potatoes need thorough rinsing (to remove starch) and drying before they can be put into the oil. When they are ready, put them in. Now, the next stage is optional, in Spain, the omelette is as standard made up of potatoes and eggs and additional things are added according to taste and availability it’s not unknown for ham, peas and any leftovers to be added to the omelette. Should you wish to, then in the frying pan you are going to make your omelette, fry up a small amount of onion in some oil, into this oil fry some finely chopped chorizo sausage. (Chorizo does come in a coating that I would recommend taking off, some sort of skin around the sausage, you will notice it when you cut it) the chorizo will flavour the oil as it fries and turn the oil a red colour – this is normal. Reserve the oil and transfer the onion and chorizo to a bowl for later. When the potato slices are golden but not crisp drain them of their oil. Beat your eggs in the jug and season them, they don’t need to be beaten to within an inch of their life, just make sure that they are semi-mixed. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and then add some milk. There is really no set amount of eggs, potatoes, milk to add, it’s all about judgement and personal preference. I would say that you look at how much liquid you eggs have created and then add JUST LESS than that amount of milk, about two thirds milk. So, the mixture is approx three parts egg to two parts milk. If you add too much milk the omelette will not cook, the milk will burn and it won’t set properly. Put your omelette pan on a low to medium heat with a couple of tablespoons of oil in it. The traditional Spanish way to add the potatoes is by dipping them into th
e egg first, this helps to bind the omelette together, this is not necessary but can be done should you choose. I personally choose the option below. When the oil is suitably warm (a couple of minutes) remove from heat and place some of the potato slices in the bottom of the pan, throw in some of the onions and chorizo (if using) and pour on a little of the egg and milk mixture – just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Build up your layers of potato and when all potato is added, pour on the last of the egg mixture. You should have something now that looks like chips floating in yellow liquid (if you do this is good) You need to make sure that the liquid covers (or nearly covers) the potato completely. This is very important for when you flip the omelette later. The trick to cooking a good omelette is patience. I put mine on a low heat bar one or bar two at the most and move the pan around. By this I mean, for five minutes leave the pan in the centre of the cooking ring, for another five minutes leave it with one edge over the middle of the ring and keep rotating it, making sure different areas are being heated every few minutes and regularly scraping down the sides with a spatula and you should also try to ‘lift’ parts of the omelette to ensure it doesn’t stick and that the egg mixture gets cooked. Unless you are very brave, I would recommend the first few times you try this recipe to stand watch over it. Sounds dull, but until you’ve got the egg to milk ratio perfect and the heat and the timing, it’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time. Time to time, I swirl the pan around to ensure that any extra liquid on the top is swooshed to the edges and heated. Now this is the most frightening bit, the flip. It’s really nothing to be frightened of but can be a bit tricky. You will know if your omelette is ready to be flipped over by looking at it, most
of the egg should have set now with the heat. Another test is to shake the pan. When shaking the pan if the omelette moves as one piece of food then it is read to turn over. If there are potato pieces proud of the egg and not set into it, I warn you, these will come off during the ‘flipping’ stage. I have tried several ways of flipping the omelette over, but went back to the original and the most successful, take comfort in the fact that I managed to drop a few, smash destroy a few and I was taught by a professional. Take your plate and place it on top of your frying pan, if it fits inside but you can not see the omelette it’s perfect. If it is larger than the pan, that is also ok, but you should never really attempt to do this with a plate that is smaller than your omelette. In your predominant hand take the handle of the frying pan with your other hand spread it out as much as you can comfortably on the upturned plate. With one swift movement (even to this day, I still do this over the sink) flip the pan towards the plate keeping a good grip on both. BE WARNED OMELETTES ARE HEAVY - Then, pop your pan back on the heat and slide the omelette back into the pan. It is easier to do this with the assistance of a spatula or some other utensil you can push the omelette with. Rendering it less likely to fall apart. Once back in the pan, this will only take up to ten minutes to brown the bottom slightly. Then your omelette is ready to serve. It is perfectly ok for some of the egg not to be set in the middle of this dish. That is how you would be served it in Spain. You can cheat slightly and omit the flipping stage of preparation and pop the pan under a grill for a few moments to cook the top through, but unless you want to serve it out of the frying pan, you’ve got to flip it sometime! As I said at the beginning, this dish is delicious hot or cold. Served with salad and bread makes a
wonderful, light summer dish. My mother used to make one when we were having guests over. She’d prepare it hours in advance, chill it and cut it into bite size pieces. Ideal tapas with olives and garlic bread. A no fuss starter. I hope you try this recipe, it’s simple and a good way of using up spare potatoes and eggs. I tend to think of it as a Spanish equivalent of Bubble & Squeak, using up the last of the ham in the fridge, putting the last fresh chilli in it make it however you'll enjoy it. After all cooking is about being passionate about food and enjoying life, being indulgent - LIVING! el buen comer (good eating)
Simons Patented Egg Friend Rice Rice. What a product. After years of predictable potatoes and pasta there comes rice. Its new. Its improved. Its versatile. Hang on. You there, yes you at the back what do you mean it isn’t versatile and its hard to cook and yours always comes out stodgy? Stodgy is it? Watery was it? Nasty could it.. um… be? Well you are doing it wrong. Yes you are. No really you are. You’ve read the back of the packet haven’t you? Don’t have a clue really do you. Wouldn’t catch a china man boiling it for 20 minutes in a pan full of water. No. Ooh no. You see rice is special. It requires love, like a good roast potato. You can’t just bung it in water and throw a piece at the wall to see if its done like you can with spaghetti. You didn’t know you could do that with spaghetti? Yeah throw it, when it sticks its done. Al dente no less. I tralineate (that means digress). Rice requires a certain amount of finess. So firstly what rice? Well, not Easy cook. It does cook easy, but it tastes like rubber and you shouldn’t use it unless you want quick flavourless rice, but then you might as well use pasta eh? You want long grain. Yeah that’s the stuff, harder to cook, but much better to cook with, and heres why. It will soak up the flavour of the stuff around it. Soak it up like a taste sponge. Then when you want it it’ll spit it back at ya to tantalise your taste buds in a veritable array of wonderment. Anyway, look, I need to tell you about the cooking of the rice don’t I. You’ll want to know how much of it and how to do it won’t you. Hmm well, I’m not sure its an exact science you know but I’ll do my best. You’ll need some prep time for this dish. Prep time to cook the rice the first time, and then to leave it long enough for the cooked rice to cool. That’s at least 3 hours. The cooler the better, so if you remember and have
the time 24 refridgerated hours! Before I go any further you do have a wok don’t you? If you don’t you can make so pretty good boiled rice, that’s great with Chilli, but its none too easy to make this with the lowly frying pan. No depth see. Depth is very important later on. Firstly you’ll need a few things, and this just for the boiling stage mind. A seive. Very important to thoroughly wash the starch of your rice. Wash it until the water runs clear. I usually find that I think the waters clear and then when I place it into a nice heavy saucepan (you’ll need one of those two, a good pan with a good bottom) and run the water onto it its still white. If it is wash it some more. The clearer the better. So rice then, well, its not easy to measure I use about two thirds of a seive. That should feed at least two BIG stomachs. Rice is quite inexpensive fortunately, so you shouldn’t find yourself broke working out the right quantity for you. The more rice you have the bigger the pan you want. I usually find a small pan will be big enough for one person, a medium for 2 or more up to about 4. So you got your rice, in a pan. You need to add water. This is a tricky bit, stick your finger in the pan and see if the water comes to about halfway between your 1st and 2nd knuckle. That’s about an inch. An inch of water should be just fine. Stick the pan on a medium hob. Use gas if you’ve got an sense. Leave, not unattended, but you have around 7 minutes before you’ll need to come back. You should find that the water almost entirely boils away, leaving you with a panful of half cooked rice that resembles the surface of a golf ball. There will be lots of little holes where the water has steamed out. You need to ensure there is still some water left. If you’ve left it too long you can add a splash, a tiny splash of water, you’ll get a salvage but not perfection. I can’t stress en
ough how important it is to not let the rice run dry. Give it a stir. You should find theres a lot of steam. Throw on the lid quick. You need that steam. Do you have a diffuser for your hob? If you do great, bung it on the hob, turn the hob down to the lowest setting cover the pan and let it rip. If you don’t well you’ll have to precariously place your pan at the edge of the hob to ensure it doesn’t burn. Its prone to burning at this stage. But on the whole as long as you keep the heat to the pan to keep the head of steam up you’ll be fine. IMPORTANT! Leave that lid on for 10 minutes. With a bit of luck you’ll find your rice perfectly steamed. It will be a little sticky, but grains should be distguishable from one another. All that’s left then is to take it off the heat and wait for it to cool. So that’s stage one, don’t worry there will be a synopsis at the end. What you’ll need next; That wok I was telling you about. Vegetable Oil Sesame Oil – Available from most supermarkets today, *but if you can find a deli, stay away from Amoy and Blue Dragon.* Dark Soy Sauce – Same as for the Sesame Oil. Dark is a rich salty flavour and better for cooking with than light, which should be used on the table. Eggs. Now I use 2 for 1 or 4 for 2 people+ Ham. This is open for creativity. I use ham ‘cause I like ham, but I understand there are religions and what not going on so its not intrinsic to the successes of this dish. If you were going to make this a self contained dish you could add chicken, prawns or what ever your heart desires. The meat here is really extra padding. Peas. Defrosted, about a mugful is sufficient. Spring Onions, optionally. Take two eggs, (one if your on your own) and beat it. No, no don’t leave, I meant the eggs. Cook the eggs like you were making a plain omelette. Cut the omelette up quite finely. Ta
ke the ham and cut it into slices, roughly is fine, but not too big. The peas can be defrosted in a mugful of boiling water, and drained. Spring onions, sliced or chopped however you like ‘em. Take the wok. Take a lot of heat. Heat the wok. Add oil. Heat until the oil smokes then add a few drops of Sesame Oil. It’s a strong flavour sesame oil so take it easy. Add the rice to the oil. Oooh that baby will fizzle. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. The rice will begin to brown. Add a few splashes of Soy. You’ve used soy before yeah? Once again go easy. A few splashes will turn the rice a familiar take-away colour. Keep stiring. Add the omelette. Stir. Make a well in the middle of the wok. Now add a couple of freshly cracked eggs. Stir. Stir a lot. The eggs do stick and you want it to mix well with the rice. It’ll be getting heavy by this stage. Cook for two more minutes or until there is a nice coating of egg on the rice. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook until its all hot. I could add serving suggestions, I like this on its own. It’s a pretty self contained meal, what with the rice, egg, ham and veg. But I particularly enjoy it with Chilli Con Carne. I know that’s a bit of a cross culture but it adds a certain something. If you’ve cooked a lot of this it will freeze nicely. For quite a while. It can be reheated in the microwave, or back on the hob if you’ve defrosted it fully. Must defrost fully though. Next week I’ll be doing a Thai style chicken dish. You’re sure to like that too and serving them together is a treat! PLEASE NOTE. This has taken me a while to perfect, even then I occasionally cock it up. But don't be disheartened, particularly by the first part. Some playing is required with heat and water to get the rice just right. But follow the rinsing and the 1" of water and you should be fairly fine. Good luck.
I first discovered the delights of Danish food back in the late 1970's early 1980's. When I say Danish I am not talking about BACON!! Which is normally the first thing which springs to peoples mind when they hear that word. A couple of fatty rashers sizzling away in the old frying pan with and egg on the side. Well, sorry to disappoint you all..the Danish that I am going to share with you is more your Eels and Plukfish!! I can imagine your mouth watering now! So, travel back with me to the late 1970's in Manchester city centre, Deansgate to be exact, where an interesting little place opened call “The Danish Food Centre.” To my knowledge it was one of the first places to offer the “Help Yourself” buffets or carveries that have become more popular as years have gone by. It cost about £5.00 per adult and you took your plates to a huge table in the middle of the restaurant which was laden with a vast array of Danish foods, some that I was familiar with , such as fresh king prawns, mussels, herrings, and some that I was less familiar with such as Frikadeller (Meat balls) Plukfish ( Stewed cod) and eels in all shapes and sizes, smoked and fried. ( I remember one being positioned so it resembled a Cobra..that was a bit scarry!) There were no heavy rich sauces and almost everything came with salad so as well as being delicious it was quite a healthy meal too ( Unless you went overboard on the pastries!.) There were also lashings of fresh fruit. I believe that it was the many (many) visits to this place that really got me hooked on fish (pardon the pun!) Although it proved to be a popular venue for a night out and Manchester had not seen it’s like before it eventually closed its doors for the last time around 1984. I have also sampled Danish food in its true surroundings..Denmark!! My cousin worked on a horse ranch there for some years and when I visited I stayed with them i
n a little town called Ribe. It was there that I discovered many ways of cooking Herrings, and also the delights of a Smøørrebrøød (an open Danish sandwich.) So, if you are stuck as to what to put on the sandwiches for a packed lunch tomorrow, think of the delights that a Danish lunch box could provide. SMOKED EEL AND SCRAMBLED EGG: (Roget aal og Roraeg) After removing the skin and backbone from a freshly smoked Eel, cut it into 2-inch pieces and cover a piece of buttered bread with it. Top with slices of cold scrambled egg and sprinkle with chives. FRIED ROE: (Ristet Torskerogn) Can use Cod roe but normally Herring is easier to come by. Put boiled cod roe under pressure until cold and cut in 1/2 inch slices with a sharp knife. Fry the slices in plenty of butter, place on buttered bread with a lemon slice on top. Cut the lemon slice half way and twist so it will stand upright. They both taste even better when washed down with a can of Danish Lager ( They are pretty good at making that too!!) In all my time in Denmark I did not once have a Bacon Buttie, or come to think of it, I can’t remember seeing any pigs either!!! Apart from in packets at the port coming home!
What crosses your mind first when someone mentions the phrase ‘German food’? I know what most of my mates back in England think – sausage. No matter how many times you tell people differently, they are still convinced that culinary life in Germany revolves exclusively around the bratwurst. Well, bratwurst and the various other types of sausage (Rindswurst, Currywurst, heißer Wurst et al) have historically been the most popular type of fast food, and are still widely available from street vendors, and at any sort of street fair or football match, but please believe me when I say that there is a lot more to German cuisine than the Wurst! Germany is a big country, and the various federal states offer a great variety of regional specialities – I live in Baden-Württemburg, not far from Alsace, and the food here is characterised by two dishes in particular: Flammkuchen and Spätzle. Flammkuchen (literally translated as ‘flame cakes’) are an Alsatian speciality, but thanks to the historical conflicts in that border region, the local food is found quite a lot in southwestern Germany. Perhaps the best way to describe it is as a sort of pizza – the thin and crispy base (either oblong or round) is covered in a sort of creme fraiche, and then topped with cheese, bacon, mushrooms, or pretty much anything you fancy. You can also try the sweet variation on this theme, for which the topping is normally pureed apples with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Spätzle are not a particular favourite of mine – they are a type of noodle, often shaped like little yellow torpedoes, and are normally served as an accompaniment to meat dishes instead of rice and potatoes. You can also order a large bowl of Käsespätzle, which basically translates as a mountain of cheesy noodles! Maultaschen are another decent local dish, found often in Swabia (the region around Stuttgart) – they are like oversized ravioli, pasta pockets filled with m
ince and vegetables, baked off in the oven and served with a topping of scrambled eggs. I’m now going to run the risk of perpetuating the stereotypes though: If you go to Nuremberg, you really have to try the Rostbratwurst. These are small sausages, lightly spiced to give them a different flavour to the standard bratwurst, and are normally served piping hot with potatoes and sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is a curious thing – I don’t generally like white cabbage, I can’t abide vinegar, but mix them together with some peppercorns and serve them with a pile of Rostbratwurst, and I can’t get enough. Maybe I’m going native? If you go to Munich, then you absolutely have to sample the famous Weißwurst. This is a large boiled sausage, which tastes a lot better than it looks – it is cooked in its skin and looks distinctly unappetising on the plate, but if you get over the first impression then it’s well worth a try. The best idea is to go for something like the Bavarian Bauernteller, which contains a selection of different cuts – pork knuckle, Weißwurst, blood sausage, and a mound of sauerkraut. It might not sound too tasty, but it slips down beautifully with a cold wheat beer, believe me! Most meat dishes involve a pork cut of some kind – in fact, you will do very well to find a menu that does not involve something that was once part of a pig. This is all well and good, unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case your options are often limited to Spätzle or salad – Germany as a nation has not yet adapted too well to the idea that people occasionally do not want to eat meat. The favourite pork cut is definitely the Schnitzel, a breaded cutlet most often served with chips and gravy, and if you live out here, in the end you can’t live without it... However, Germans could quite happily live on pork. You rarely see lamb on the menu, and beef has become almost taboo in the las
t few years, as well as being a source of constant amusement for the locals – if they’re not making jokes about ‘that English weather’ every time it rains, then you get comments about BSE! Poultry is not eaten as much as in the UK, and a lot of families do still cook a goose for Christmas – turkey is the exception rather than the rule. As southern Germany is largely Catholic in heritage, fish is served on a Friday – but in general you do not get seafood here as much as in the north of the country, simply because you are so far from the sea, in every direction! Herrings are eaten quite a lot the further north you go, often served as a very simple main meal in a yoghurt or sour cream sauce – and if you manage to last the distance on a night out on the tiles in Hamburg, follow the smell down to the fish market as dawn breaks and get a fresh fish breakfast in the traditional style! Breakfasts in general are something that is totally different to Britain: Breakfast cereal is a relatively recent introduction to German supermarkets, and most people (me included) still prefer to wander down to the bakery and get some hot rolls or fresh bread, to be eaten with cheese, meats and jam. Sandwiches as we know them are not popular either, what you have instead are cheese or ham rolls, and while you can pick up a sarnie at a petrol station, they don’t come close to the legendary M&S chicken tikka variety! The bakeries here all open very early in the morning so that people can pop in for their breakfast, or to pick up a sweet or savoury snack during the day. The cakes are normally excellent – try a slice of Streuselküche, which has a fruit filling and a crunchy, sugared topping like that which you would find on an apple crumble. This is by no means intended to be an exclusive guide to everything you are likely to find on the menu in a German restaurant, but hopefully it has given you an idea of the variety of f
ood that you can find over here. The things to remember are that half portions as a concept simply do not exist, and the locals do not go to a restaurant for a 'light meal'. Portions are normally generous, prices are reasonable (outside the tourist traps) and you won't get anything that is more than mildly spiced, as Germans don't seem to like hot food. Basically, you have to forget any preconceived ideas of the Germans existing on a diet of sausage and beer, as tempting as that may be – there is plenty of variety there, you just have to know what you’re looking for...