Wednesday, August 22, 2012
It is really cold, rainy and windy lately, and absolute stay in at home kinda weather. So this past weekend was a very lazy cooking weekend for me. But still I decided to make something that I've never done before and yes it's so simple that it's not anything fancy to blog about, but I had no choice it has now become my favourite kind of sandwich...I can't believe I've waited so long to make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
My take is of course not just the plain old cheese in between two pieces of bread...oh no...
Here is my take:
Butter - Real salted butter is always the best
Cheese (I used Edam white cheddar cheese, but you can use any)
Any filling you like
Take two pieces of bread, spread some butter on the "outside". Turn them around and place your ingredients on the "inside" of the bread, place the two insides on top. Warm up a non-stick pan by also adding in some butter. Now add your sandwich to the pan...if you hear the ssshhh of the butter in the pan when you place your sandwich in you know it's ready.
Keep flipping the sandwich around so that both sides gets exposed to heat and make sure that they turn nice and golden brown.
Yes this is not the healthiest option but it's truly one of the best sandwiches. A great filling to try is Tomato, onion & cheese.
or what about Cheese & a small amount of basil pesto...like you can see below.
Or if your an egg lover like me..what about a egg & cheese sandwich. Like the picture below
The next step is very important, when your done, cut your sandwich, sit down and enjoy...a good cup of coffee will definitely compliment your sandwich.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Master chef has been on every one's lips, chatting an discussing all the different dishes that gets made. The comments from Gordon Ramsay, what will he say next. I watched a couple of his own shows like Hell's Kitchen etc and found that in most of the show for some reason Beef Wellington is always on the menu.
I must admit it does seem to be an easy thing to make but to cook that steak perfectly on the inside of the pastry that does take some skill and/or the correct tools. This is my take on Beef Wellington, it came out great, covered with lots of flavours...it was a great add for Sunday lunch. It might not have looked absolutely perfect but you know what that's ok, not everything in life is perfect, but let me tell you it sure tasted good.
Fillet steak (you can decide on the size)
Onions (chopped up finely)
Herbs & spices
1. Place your steak in a oven dish drizzled with some olive oil. Let is sear for about 15 minutes in a oven at 200C. Turn the steak every 5 minutes. This will give the meat a nice brown colour on all sides.
2. After about 15 minutes take the steak out of the oven and let it rest a little then place it into the fridge to cool down.
3. In a sauce pan drizzled with oil fry up your finely chopped onions. When the onions is nice and brown add some finely chopped mushrooms, as you can see in the pictures following below.
5. Now roll out your pastry, not to thin. I used left over pastry...not a good idea as it looked like little pieces of pastry I had put together, so my suggestion to you is use fresh.
6. After you've rolled out the pastry place the cooled down steak in the middle and cover the steak with your mushroom mixture, and don't be shy about it, add a lot. Now carefully cover the steak with your pastry, make sure that all the ends and little bits are covered by the pastry. Place this whole pastry steak parcel on a oven tray, cover it with egg so that a nice shine is developed in the oven. Let it cook in the oven until the pastry is nice and brown. That should not be longer that 15 to 20 minutes at 180C. Don't over brown the pastry as then your steak will become more well done.
Good luck, I forgot to take a picture of the cut product, I had a hungry husband to feed.
Enjoy with some mash & veggies.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
When I hear Chicken pie I think back of when I was a little girl and on a Sunday lunch we would have Chicken pie...golden goodness how can anyone with stand it. Crispy crust with juicy flavourful chicken on the inside. There is almost nothing more homely than that.
I decided it was time to jazz up my old recipe of chicken pie and make them into individual pots. Each person can have their own little pot or two and you can eat to your hearts delight. I must admit these looked so good that I forgot to take a picture of them out of the tray...the smells coming from my kitchen was truly indescribable....absolute yummyness.
So what do you need:
8/9 pieces chicken
herbs & spices
150 ml Mayonnaise
Vermicelli (2 minute noodles)
Two muffin pans.
Here we go:
1. Drizzle your pot with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle some herbs and spices and then add you raw chicken. Brown the chicken in the pot, adding a little bit of water when needed. When the chicken is cooked let it cool off and then debone the pieces discarding the skin. (I actually took of the skin while it was cooking) Don't clean up the chicken pot yet. Place all the pieces in a bowl, add the Mayonnaise and mix it in very well with the chicken.
2. Cook a packet of 2 minute noodles or you can use cooked vermicelli pasta. Add the cooked pasta to the chicken, make sure that the noodles are cut into tiny pieces. (I hope this makes sense)
3. Take the uncleaned pot where the chicken was cooked in, add about 200ml of water, put the heat on and let it simmer. Add a small about of flour to thicken the watery sauce. This will become our gravy as all the chicken "goodness" is in this mixture. Now add about 100ml of this mixture to the chicken, if the chicken still seems to be dry add some more.
4. On flat surface sprinkle a little flour so that you can roll out the puff pastry. Roll out the pastry, I used a glass big glass to make my circles. I then sprayed the muffin containers and then gently placed each pastry circle in the muffin "pocket". Cover each pocket with a bit of egg so that the juices from the chicken doesn't get absorbed by the pastry and is cooked properly.
5. Now to add our yummy filling, and don't be shy make it a good portion.
6. I used the same glass for the circles on the top also. Cut them out and place them gently on top of the filled "pot". Then press down the sides lightly so the they almost and in some cases they will connect. As you can see in my picture below.
7. Now brush each pot with some egg, the egg is used to give it the golden brown colour. Here they are all ready for the oven...
8. Place them in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes at 180C or until they are golden delicious brown.
Serve with love firstly and ok some rice, sweeten peas, cauliflower and cheese sauce and you are all set to go.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
What's the best way in spending Woman's Day, well? Not cooking, I would say. So for Woman's Day this year we went to Cafe Villagio for breakfast. And since we were there I thought I'd share a quick review about this coffee shop. The one thing that caught my I and the reason I suggested it to my hubby for breakfast was the fact that they have a breakfast special for R18.95.
Now there are a lot of places that we could have gone to to have a breakfast for under R20 but this restaurant just seem inviting.
The look of the restaurant is very warm, modern and totally comforting, we felt really at home, the staff was very polite and friendly. The service we experienced was great, the were quick and helpful, we didn't have to wait for any one's attention, our table was cleared if not by our waitress then by
one of the other waitresses.
Our food was very well presented, the one thing that I really found quite innovative was the fact that their bacon was rolled up, it almost seemed like Samon roses...very clever and yummy. The breakfast special that we took was for R18.95 and consisted of 2 eggs, 2 rashers bacon, tomato, potato chips, toast with preserves and a cup of filter coffee, tea or fruit juice. This to me was really a bargain as normally you only get toast & eggs at other restaurants.
And the cup of coffee was a big cup of coffee not a little sippie cup, with a little biscuit. One thing that I noticed is that all the food that went out to the other people were very well portioned and looked really exciting.
So after a delightfull breakfast experience we went off to walk through China Town and shop for absolutely nothing...as you do at China Town.
I would absolutely recommend Cafe Villagio to anyone, go and make a turn, relax and enjoy a great meal. There is lots to choose from their menu so you don't have to worry about not finding something you like. Thank you Cafe Villagio for making my Woman's Day great.
I give them 4 out of 5 cups.
No one was paid to write a review about this breakfast and the opinions expressed in this post are voluntary and mine entirely.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
As a lot of us knows - Mom's food is always the best. My mom is a wonder in the kitchen, I have always wanted to be able to cook like her. Personally I think she would do great at Master chef as she can whip up something delicious out of almost no ingredients....truly amazing. So when Hubby and I went to fetch our daughter after her visit with "Ouma" we got treated to a delicious Sunday meal...yummo.
One of the dishes my mom prepared was this pumpkin tart, it's so easy and absolutely yummy that I had to make it and share it with you.
1kg uncooked Pumpkin
1 cup cream
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 tbs baking powder
Extra sugar & cinnamon
50ml melted butter
1. Cook the pumpkin until it's soft. I like melting about 3 tablespoons of butter and then adding about 4 tablespoons of sugar, when the sugar mixture starts boiling I normally only then add the pumpkin. Add some cinnamon for flavour.
2. After the pmupkin has cooked and is soft, remove it from the stove, place it in a mixing bowl so that it can cool down. After about 10 to 15 minute add the rest of your ingredients. (Just a tip if the mixture is to runny then add a bit more flour - about 100ml or so will be fine)
3. When the mixture is smooth and there are no flour lumps then pour it into a butter or sprayed oven dish. Take the melted butter and slowly and evenly spread it across the tart.
4. Now sprinkle a good amount of cinnamon and sugar over the tart spreading it evenly, and then place it into the oven at 180ºC for 45 minutes.
Take it out and let it rest for about 10 seconds....hehehe only joking, give it a minute or two and then dish up and enjoy. Taste like pudding with the great feeling that it's kinda healthy.