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NYE nosh: Spicy prawns and gazpacho shots

December 30, 2013 in Crush mag recipes, Fish, Meat, Snacks, Soups


Wowzer! New Year’s eve tomorrow!  What a year it’s been!  Wishing you a happy, safe and blessed New year and may 2014 be a goodie for all of us!

For those of you that are hosting a NYE soirée, here’s some last minute inspiration. Easy, light and summery.

First up, Spicy smoked paprika prawns with gazpacho shots. There’s nothing better than tucking into whole prawns – sucking the juices out of the shells is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Washed down with an ice cold shot of gazpacho with lots of Tabasco. A bit of crusty bread is good too, mops up any juices you may not want to leave behind. Happiness.

Spicy smoked paprika prawns with gazpacho

Serves: 6
Difficulty: easy
Prep time:  20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Gazpacho:
500 g ripe baby tomatoes
½ red onion
½ cucumber or 1 small one, peeled
1 small red pepper, seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
3 T (45 ml) red wine vinegar
200 ml ( 1 tin) tomato juice or tomato cocktail
200 ml chilled prepared vegetable stock
1 t (5 ml) sugar
handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Tabasco, freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Prawns:
350 g frozen whole prawns(thawed), cleaned and deveined
2 T (30 ml) cooking oil
3 T (30 ml) butter
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
½ t (2 ml) cayenne pepper
1 t (5 ml) smoked dried chilli flakes
2 T (10 ml) smoked paprika
¼ c (60 ml) butter, cut into small cubes
Zest and juice
3 T (45 ml) chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Gazpacho:
Place all the ingredients into a blender (except for seasoning) and blitz until smooth and well combined. Season to taste with tabasco, salt and pepper. Pop in to the fridge and chill until ready to serve.
Serve with spicy prawns and crusty bread.

Prawns:
Heat the cooking oil and 30 ml butter until sizzling, add the prawns and fry until starting to turn pink. Add the garlic, and spices and toss through for a ½ a minute. Add the 60 ml butter, juice and zest and heat through for +- another minute. Add fresh parsley and serve immediately with the chilled gazpacho and crusty bread.

For more ideas – check out my  Bits of Carey website. I’ve posted 2 other NYE nosh recipes, Meatballs kebabs – caprese style and beef sang choy bow.

 

These recipes featured in Crush online magazine

Chilled pea and avo soup

December 2, 2013 in Crush mag recipes, Meatless meals, Soups, vegetables

I just love this chilled Pea and avo soup. Such a delicious and vibrant combination with fresh lemon, mint and goats cheese. Just looking at this soup makes me happy. Serve with generously buttered seed bread or garlic bruschetta and you have one amazeball meat free meal. I’ve done this soup many times as a starter which goes down a treat before a lightly smoked salmon trout or lamb dish. Beautiful.

In other news, my website is almost ready!  In the meantime, hop over to my new facebook and twitter page to get a sneak peek of what’s to come! Serious excitement brewing here in the “Bits of Carey” kitchen.

Now, do yourself a favour and try this recipe. Enjoy! x

Pea and avo soup

Serves: 6
Prep time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: +- 10 minutes

Ingredients:
500 g frozen petit pois (baby peas)
1 bunch of leeks, finely sliced
1 T (15 ml) butter
+- 2 c ( 500 ml) prepared chicken or vegetable stock
A handful of mint leaves
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Flesh of 1 large ripe avo
Salt and pepper to taste

To serve:
100 g chevin or goat’s cheese
lemon zest

Method:

  • Pour boiling water over the peas and allow to stand for 2 minutes(no longer) then rinse immediately with ice cold water and drain. Set aside.
  • In a pot, fry the leeks in butter until soft and fragrant. Add stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Place the peas in a blender and blitz until pureed add the stock slowly until the desired consistency is reached. Add the lemon juice, zest, mint and avo and blend until smooth.
  • Season with salt and lots of pepper.
  • Serve warm or chilled topped with crumbled goats cheese and lemon zest.  Delicious with generously buttered seed bread.

Featured in Crush online magazine, issue 35.

 

Biltong, leek and sweet potato soup

November 26, 2013 in Meat, Soups, vegetables


Since the weather can’t seem to make its mind up here in Cape Town, I thought it’s only fitting to post a soup that can be served hot or chilled. A vichyssoise with a South African vibe! An idea sparked when my dear friend Mickel made a creamy roux based biltong soup for us one night. I figured I could do a leek and potato soup (using sweet potatoes mostly) with biltong and cream. I enjoy the subtle sweetness of the fried leeks and sweet potatoes – it balances beautifully with the salty biltong and the cream just ties it all together.

This soup is absolutely delish served hot sprinkled with blue cheese and mopped up with crusty bread. And for the hotter days try this soup chilled topped with micro watercress and garlic bruschetta. Oh my yumness!

Biltong, leek and sweet potato soup
Serves: 6

50 g butter
100 g finely sliced biltong
6 leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 t freshly ground coriander seeds
1 ml nutmeg
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1.25 L cold* vegetable stock
+- 125 ml cream
Salt and pepper to taste ( go easy on the salt)
Biltong shavings for garnish

In a large pot, heat the butter until bubbling. Add 1/2 the biltong, the leeks and spices and sauté until fragrant.
Add the cubes potatoes and sauté for a minute, then add the cold stock. Cover a bring to a gentle boil.  Simmer gently for +- 35 -40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Place in blender with the cream and remaining biltong and blitz until smooth. Add more cream or stock for a thinner consistency.
Season to taste.
Serve hot with crumbled blue cheese and crusty bread OR chilled with microcress and bruschetta. Garnish with some biltong shavings.

* Although cold stock takes longer to get to the boil, it draws out  the flavour from the ingredients(biltong, leeks etc.) into the liquid(stock) making a more flavoursome soup.

Enjoy!  C x

Rich red onion soup with Gruyere sticks

June 25, 2013 in Baking, Crush mag recipes, Randoms, Soups, vegetables


For years French onion soup did not appeal to me until J and I visited Paris. Of course, I had to give it a try!  My first french onion soup was served dripping down the sides of it’s bowl with a slice of toasted baguette topped with gooey melted Gruyere soaking away in this salty, yet sweet beef broth with a surprisingly subtle hum of “oniony” flavour .  I can firmly say that I fell in love with this popular “soupe du jour” and ate it every chance I could get – with lots of bread of course :-) . Check out my Paris in Pictures post from 2011.

Here’s a playful version of French onion soup. I use red onions and I make Gruyere cheese sticks out of all butter puff pastry.  I also top the soup with more Gruyere and pop under the grill, creating a fondue vibe.  Whatever works for you, as long as you soak these crispy cheese sticks or a slice of bread into the soup when serving. An absolute must!

Keep warm and enjoy!

Rich red onion soup with Gruyere sticks

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
50 g butter
2 t (10 ml) olive oil
1 kg red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme, roughly chopped
¼ c (60 ml) old brown sherry
1 T (15 ml) cake flour
+- 1.2 L good quality beef stock (Nomu)
Freshly ground salt and pepper
juice of ½ lemon
1 c (250 ml) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

Gruyere sticks
1 x 250 g sheet of all butter puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
2 t (10 ml) chopped fresh thyme
1 c (250 ml) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

Method:
Heat the butter and oil until bubbling, add the onions and thyme. Fry for 5 minutes, then reduce heat slightly and gently sauté the onions for +- 25 minutes until soft and sticky.

Add sherry and simmer for 2 minutes then add the flour and mix until well combined before adding the beef stock. Cover and bring the boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Season to taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Gruyere sticks: Brush the sheet of pastry with egg and sprinkle evenly with thyme and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to gently flatten the cheese onto the pastry. Slice into 9 strips then cut in half making 18 strips. Twist the strips one by one and place onto a large greased baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and crispy.

Set oven grill and move the oven rack to the top shelf.

Spoon soup into oven proof dishes. Sprinkle with a generous amount of cheese and pop under the grill until golden and bubbling.

Serve immediately with gruyere sticks.

This recipe featured in the latest issue of Crush online magazine , by Carey Boucher Erasmus.

 

Rich tomato and olive bread soup

June 3, 2013 in bread, Crush mag recipes, Soups, vegetables

I am a big fan of the food show, “Two greedy Italians” on DSTV. Not only are Gennaro and Antonio a laugh a minute with all their banter, I love their passion for traditional Italian food and everything they cook makes my mouth water. Watching this show makes me want to hop onto the plane and visit Florence again. Out of all the places we visited in Italy, I must say my heart is with Florence. It was there when I first came across a traditional Tuscan bread soup, ribollita. I loved the whole idea of creating a hearty soup from leftover vegetable/minestrone soup, bread and cannellini beans. The locals generally make different versions with whatever leftovers they have available to them, it’s quite the speciality and absolute comfort in a bowl.

This is my version of a ribollita, a rich tomato and olive bread soup. Feel free to add cannellini beans, a variety of veggies and streaky bacon (or pancetta), either way this soup will definitely warm the belly and soul. I enjoy my soup served with loads of grated pecorino, fresh basil leaves and a good drizzle of grassy extra virgin olive oil. YUM! Enjoy and stay warm xx

Rich Tomato and olive bread soup with fresh basil and pecorino
Serves: 6

Ingredients                                                                                                                                                                         45
45ml (3Tbs) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, chopped and seeds removed (optional)
3 x 400 g cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice
+-750 ml good quality chicken or vegetable stock
45 ml (3Tbs) tomato paste
30 ml (2Tbs) balsamic vinegar
30 ml  (2 Tbs) brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
6 slices of stale ciabatta, broken into pieces
A handful of roughly chopped basil
A handful of roughly chopped parsley
1 pkt Calamata olives, pitted and halved

To serve:
Grated pecorino cheese (as much as you like!)
Extra virgin olive oil

Method:
Sauté the onion, garlic and chilli in the heated olive oil until soft and aromatic.
Add the tomatoes and heat through briefly.
Add the stock, paste, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Place the bread pieces into the soup, cover and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. If too thick, add more hot stock.
Remove from the heat and add the fresh herbs and olives.
Serve topped with plenty pecorino and drizzle with olive oil.

This recipe was published in Crush online magazine

 

 

Comforting chicken, mushroom and leek soup

April 2, 2013 in Chicken, Crush mag recipes, Soups, vegetables

Oooh, it’s cold and rainy here in Cape Town and I am in my element. This soup will definitely be bubbling away in my kitchen tonight. I can smell it already! Rich creamy chicken soup with a sweetness that only leeks can provide with loads of “mushroomy” flavour – truly comfort in a bowl. Mop up with generously buttered crusty bread and be taken to a happy place.

Clearly, I’m a lover of soups and all things comforting so I just have to share my other 5 favourite soups of all time:

Creamy tomato soup – The best ever!
Roasted butternut soup – sweet and intense colour and flavour
Dr Chicken soup – for the flu-ish and overindulged
Creamy chicken soup with lemon – mouthwatering deliciousness
Thick ‘n creamy cauliflower and cheese soup with bacon bits – need I say more!

Creamy chicken, mushroom and leek soup
A family favourite of note. Hearty, flavourful and comforting.
Serves: 6- 8

3 chicken breasts on the bone
2 L water
2 T (30 ml) chicken stock powder
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
50 g butter
2 bunches leeks, trimmed and chopped
400 g brown mushrooms, chopped
¼ c (62 ml) cake flour
1.5 L reserved chicken stock
1 c (250 ml) cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Place the chicken in a large pot. Add the water, stock powder, carrot, celery, onion and bay leaves. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from the stock and allow to cool. Strain the stock and discard the veggies. Set aside. When chicken is cooler, remove skin and bones and shred into small pieces.

In a medium pot, heat the butter and sauté the leeks until soft and glossy, then add the mushrooms and cook until softened and fragrant. Stir in the flour until veggies are well coated, then add 1.5L chicken stock, heat through and continue stirring until it starts to thicken. Add the shredded chicken and cream and heat through for 15 minutes to allow all the flavours to combine. Add some parsley and season to taste.

Serve with fresh crusty bread.

Enjoy and keep warm! xx

This recipe featured in Crush online magazine Issue 21.

 

 

 

Smoked ham and mushroom soup

November 4, 2010 in Soups

Yay! It’s cold and rainy in CT and I have an excuse to share this soup recipe with you…

You can make it as thick as you like, but personally, I don’t like it too thick as it tends to feel and taste like a pasta sauce – so mine’s a bit more “brothy” and light so to speak. Served inside a roll – check out my soup “bunny chow” below! ha ha!

You will need:

Serves 4

30 ml olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 sick celery, finely chopped

250 g brown mushrooms, chopped

+ – 150 g smoked ham, thinly sliced

30 ml cake flour

500 ml prepared vegetable stock(Nomu or Ina)

250 ml reduced fat cream

Salt and pepper taste

4 crispy round portuguese rolls or potjie rolls

Fresh parsley

Saute the onions and celery in the oil until soft, then add the mushrooms and fry until also softened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, coating all the veggies.

Place back onto the heat and add the stock, cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes or so.

Add the cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Hollow out the bottoms of each roll and fill them with soup. Garnish with fresh parsley.

I suggest putting them into a bowl, after about 4 minutes, the bottom starts to get soggy and may leak, it’s looks cool, but not practical. It’s quite cute serving it this way, you eat the soup first and then you are left with flavour soaked bread at the bottom! Comfort at it’s best!

Alternatively, serve with slices of ciabatta

 

Other suggestions:

 

Not a fan or ham? Replace with more mushrooms

Want it thicker? Increase the flour to 50 ml

Not watching the wasteline? Use full fat cream

 

Over and out from chilly Cape Town

 

C xx

Dr Chicken soup to the rescue for the flu-ish or overindulged!

September 23, 2010 in Chicken, Soups

This bowl of soup is the ultimate remedy when your body is taking strain.  Too much food and alcohol has been consumed over the last few days and now it’s time for something simple and nourishing. When I eat this soup, I can almost feel the nutrients from the chicken and veg being absorbed into my bloodstream, as well as the much needed saltiness and bit of fat to restore my batteries, so to speak. The vermicilli rice noodles are added to make it more substantial, you could leave it out if you like.

DR CHICKEN SOUP

What you  will need:

2 or 3 chicken breasts on the bone

+- 1 L Ina chicken stock powder or Nomu concentrate

5 ml olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 carrots, grated

a big handful of spinach, chopped

a handful of vermicilli rice/glass noodles

Salt and pepper

In a large pot, boil the chicken in a litre of weak chicken stock for +- 20 minutes. Remove chicken and allow to cool.

Pour the stock in a jug and set aside.

In the same pot, heat the oil and saute the onion and carrots until soft. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into fine pieces and set aside.

Add the spinach and allow it to wilt, then add the chicken back to the pot together with the stock and bring to a gentle boil . Add the vermicilli, and cook until soft. You can add more water if necessary – just remember t readjust the seasoning!

TIPS:

If you are not feeling that fragile:

Add some cumin, chilli or garlic to the onions.

Fry a bit of chorizo or bacon before the onions and add a dash of smoked paprika.

Use egg noodles instead(will just take longer to cook).

Add some cream

P.s Thanks to Cath Shone for hosting the Vinatics evening (http://www.food24.com/Wine/Features/September-Vin-atics-the-most-Food-Friendly-one-yet-20100901) at her home together with Cathy Marson. They were a laugh a minute, especially playing 30 seconds! Thanks to Caro for preparing the DIVINE food and lugging that “portable” oven to Cath’s house. Although Caro was not present for the evening, she was definately there in spirit of the dishes she prepared(try the twice baked souffles – just do it!). It was great to meet the the couple owners of Spit or Swallow (http://spitorswallow.co.za) they are as cheeky as the name! Paul from yuppie chef( http://yuppiechef.co.za ) - this guy is a walking encyclopedia and Laura from Durbs, studying to be a botanist but bakes and caters under the name of  Fat fairy - look out for her! Hubby and I felt extremely welcome, with the wine flowing and all – I sincerely hope I didn’t make too much of an arse of myself! It remains to be seen… what will Cathy write?gulp! It was truly an honour to have been invited, thank you! xxx

So this is what we are having tonight in the hope to recover nicely for the “groot braai” tomorrow! My tummy is on strike for today! (oh the soup behind this one is just a mixture of  butternut, sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower cooked in veg stock with loads of nutmeg and pureed – no cream today…)

 

Anyway, have a lovely heritage/braai day. Looking forward to seeing what everyone made over the weekend!

 

Lovies C x

 

Carey’s 3 best cauliflower recipes for Inspiration (pun!)

September 8, 2010 in Meatless meals, Soups, vegetables

In the spirit of participating in Inspiration’s Cauliflower challenge, I thought long and hard about what I could make and then I realised I have 3 recipes/ideas I’d like to share with you all and Tandy of course!

So the first one that comes to mind is a recipe I did 2 months ago – a cauliflower mac and cheese, this has to be my ultimate fave! To see the recipe click on http://blogs.food24.com/BITSOFCAREY/cauliflower-mac-n-cheese

The second one, is not my recipe, but Micheal Olivier’s and I came across it when I styled and photographed this life changing cauliflower soup  for CRUSH online mag. Now this soup is amazing, I cannot describe in words, you just have to try it on a chilly day, trust me!

Go to http://www.crushmagonline.com/ to see the recipe. Look at Issue 2 in “Which food, which wine?” insert. And remember to subscribe btw.  I’m drooling just thinking about it!

And lastly a more summery one! I did this a few months ago for our newsletter, the photographer was Seagram Pearce, see http://www.seagrampearce.com/

Tempura style Cauliflower bites with a coriander yoghurt dip

What you will need:

cooking oil for deep frying

1 small cauliflower, cut into bite size florets

some seasoned flour

 

For the batter:

125 ml cake flour

125 ml corn flour

7 ml baking powder

salt and pepper to taste

+- 250 ml cold water

 

Dipping sauce:

250 ml plain Yoghurt 

50 ml lemon juice

10 ml olive oil

50 ml chopped coriander

5 ml chopped chilli

2 crushed cloves of garlic

salt and pepper.

 

Mix all the batter ingredients together until well combined.

Coat the florets with seasoned flour then coat well with the batter.

Deep fry in hot cooking oil until golden and crispy.

Drain on absorbant paper.

Mix the dipping sauce ingredients together and serve with the cauliflower.

 

TIP: the corn flour and cold water makes a crispy batter!

 

Happy mid week all! :-)

 

Lovies C xx

 

 

 

Smokey bacon and lentil soup

September 7, 2010 in grains and pulses, Soups

In the hope to chow more legumes, I thought why not joosh up lentils with smokey bacon, tart tomatoes and a bit of cumin and smoked paprika in a soup?

Yes, it’s not quite a summery dish, but in my mind I felt like I was getting thinner by the minute whilst eating it(even with the bacon in!), being low GI and all…humour me people! I would eat this on a blistering hot day it’s so good!

Even our “fearing things bean-like” male guests inhaled this dish! They were going for 2nds and 3rds during the rugby match! Was quite a sight!

I hardly cook with lentils, but I’m starting to come to the conclusion that they are awesome little things…healthy, low GI and absorbs flavours so nicely! So now they are on my shopping list every month!

 Smokey bacon and lentil soup

You will need:

Glug of olive oil

500 g shoulder bacon, diced

1 large onion, chopped

2 ml cumin

2 ml smoked paprika

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

2 large carrots, grated

1 cup of lentils

1 L of prepared vegetable stock (I used Nomu)

1 tin whole plum tomatoes

a handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan shavings

In a medium pot, heat a little olive oil and fry the bacon until slightly crispy. Remove from the pot and set aside.

In the bacon juices, saute the onions and spices until soft and glossy.

Now add the celery and carrots and saute over a gentle heat until softened.

Stir in the lentisl, followed by the stock and tomatoes, cover and bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes or until lentils are tender and the flavours have developed nicely. Stir in the parsley.

Adjust seasoning by adding some freshly ground salt and pepper. Top with parmesan shavings.

Serve with crusty bread.

TIP: If you don’t eat bacon, you can replace with chicken rashers or leave it out completely. OR try chorizo sausage!

C xx

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