Archive | recipes

easy chicken noodle stir fry

easy chicken noodle stir fry

Deciding to start my food blog at the beginning of December and on the last leg of my year and half weight loss journey probably wasn’t the cleverest move I’ve ever made.  Anyway…… in amongst all the wonderful food and parties, I’ll just have to try and get the balance right. 

I believe strongly in the 80/20 principle, which means that 80% of the time I eat very healthily, low-fat and low GI carbohydrates. However 80% of this blog will no doubt be focused on the 20% more indulgent stuff – which is frankly just so much more delicious. 

This recipe I made for supper tonight is tasty and very healthy. I got it out of my latest BBC Good Food mag. It’s loaded with veggies and virtually fat-free. It can be made with any veggies that you like (I found this one a bit carrot intensive). 

Recipe:

  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • A good chunk of ginger grated
  • 1 red chilli,  and chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (I used about 2)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (woolies organic tom paste in a tube is fantastic)
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 3 blocks dried egg noodles
  • ½ head of broccoli cut into florets
  • 3 carrots cut into strips
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 300g bean sprouts (I used 12ogm pack and then a red pepper cut into strips as there was only one pack in the shop)
  •  Spring onions trimmed and cut into thin strips on the bias
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (I used about 2 or 3 tbsps)
  • Fresh coriander leaves

How to make:

  • Mix the chilli, ginger, tom paste and soy sauce with the chicken and let it marinade while you prep everything else
  • Boil a large pot of water, add the noodles, carrots and broccoli  and cook for 4 minutes before draining
  • Heat the oil in a pan or a wok, cook the chicken and marinade for about 5 minutes until cooked (I cooked the sliced pepper with the chicken)
  • Add the noodles, broccoli and carrots
  • stir through the bean sprouts and spring onion
  • add the oyster sauce with a splash of water and stir through
  • I added some torn coriander leaves to the recipe as well

 Next time I would pimp it up with toasted sesame seeds, or roasted cashew nuts, possibly a bit more chilli or a splash of sweet chilli sauce.  chunks of pineapple could also work.

Right now I’m off to do a few more sit ups…just seen on TV that Gary Player does 1000 sit ups PER DAY.  Yes 1000.

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the best chicken liver pate with focaccia melba toast

a delicious pate with melba toasts

So yesterday I decided to make this delicious, very buttery and very easy chicken liver pate to take to the Jesse Clegg concert at Kirstenbosch. I am passionate about picnic’s and can’t get enough of them.  Probably the highlight of summer for me are all the beach and concert picnics.

I also found a loaf of focaccia bread in my freezer which I had made on my bread making course at ‘bread & wine’ and thought this would make nice melba toasts. You can use any bread, but I love making them out of Italian breads.

Take the loaf and slice up very finely – I use an electric carving knife for this.

Place the slices of bread onto baking sheets or on a cooling rack on a baking sheet and put in the oven at around 150 degrees for about 20 minutes.  I did this on convection and turned the slices around a few times, but you could have it on normal and then do 2 batches.

chicken liver pate – recipe

  • 250gm chicken livers
  • 125gm butter (and a bit extra to coat the top if desired)
  • 1 large onion (white), chopped
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 20ml brandy
  • freshly ground black pepper

To make: (I doubled up on this and made 7 small ramekins which freeze very well for all the future picnics)

  • melt the butter in the pan and saute the onion for a couple of minutes
  • add the chicken livers, garlic and bay leaf and cook over a moderate heat , stirring until the chicken livers are just done – about 4 minutes
  • add the brandy

  • remove from the heat and allow to cool
  • remove bay leaf and blend in a food processor
  • season with a bit of salt and lots of black pepper (to taste)
  • spoon into ramekins or other serving dishes and cool
  • when cool melt some butter (microwave is great) and pour over the pate which looks pretty decorated with a bay leaf
  • cool in the fridge until serving 

So it all worked out perfectly well until I got to the concert and discovered I had left the pate behind. A friend was asked to pick up some replacements from woolies on the way ….at least all the melba toast was eaten, and washed down with quite a few bottles of Graham Beck Brut.

scoop, spread and eat

2009/10 summer concert schedule

a lovely little picnic at Kirstenbosch (David's pic)

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quick apricot jam

the ingredients

My paternal grandmother Betty used to make the most incredible apricot jam and I remember the delight I felt as a child finding a more-or-less whole apricot in the jam, and then squishing this on my toast.

I started making apricot jam about 10 years ago and bottled these  under the name ‘sams jams’.  The friends and family were pleased, but oh what a mission it was to do. I would make about 10 kg’s at a time and boil multiple pots on the stove for hours unable to leave my flat. Due to the scale of the project, I have not made jam since those vintages of 1999 and 2000.

I really do love the concept of preserving, so when I found myself with a massive amount of the most beautiful imported and out of season strawberries after an international TV shoot, there was no way I was not going to convert these treasures into something longer lasting.

I came across a recipe for ‘small batch’ strawberry jam on YouTube and what a win it was.  It takes about 20 minutes to make and produces a jam that is so much about the fruit and less about the sugar.  I love it.

I followed the recipe using apricots the other night and it worked out perfectly. It’s so easy. I’m planning on buying a little extra fruit each time this summer and making up a quick batch to bottle and give away as gifts.

recipe:

  • 3 cups apricots quartered (about 600gms)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

to make:

  • put all ingredients in a wide shallow pan/ pot on high and cook for about 8 – 10 minutes.
  • the wider the better as this facilitates quick evaporation and thus quicker jammification
  • to test if the jam is ready, freeze a side plate for 5 minutes. Drop a dolop of jam on the cold plate. Run your finger through the middle. if the jam stays apart and doesn’t immediately join back together, its jammy enough.
  • at the same time boil the storage jars in a large pot of water – remove and drain
  • scoop the hot jam into the jars and seal
  • pop the sealed jars back into the boiling water for 10 minutes (this gets rid of any bacteria etc)
  • remove from the pot, drain and allow to cool

bubbling in the pan

…..I couldn’t wait,  so I scraped the pan down and spread on a toasted whole-wheat crumpet. So delicious, quite tart, not too sweet.

I still may go back to making apricot jam the way my grandmother did, if only to find the whole apricot again.

bottled and ready for gifting

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