Custard and bowls filled with varsity memories!

July 1, 2014 in desserts

Custard Desserts

Custard desserts are hug-in-a-bowl-desserts and yes, even just plain old custard gives me that warm fuzzy feeling, especially on a cold winters day!

Custard desserts are nothing new to us, there are so many of them…. think trifle, custard slices, pavlova with custard and those are just the simple ones. Custard also forms the base of ice-creams, mousse, creme bruleé and yes, even the South African Classic  Milktart is basically a custard in a pastry case! Custard desserts luckily is not where it stops, custard forms the base of many savory dishes too! Quiches and Souffles  are all custard based dishes. The dessert was probably made  with the cheapest custard powder, but to me it was  layers of thick, luscious custard, cornflakes, apricot jam and a baked meringue topping. It brings back memories of a very happy time in my life – varsity days!!!

Delicious Custard Dessert

Custard Desserts

Crunch, crunch the banting way – Puffed Pork Crackling

June 19, 2014 in pork recipes

banting

Banting, for those who have been sleeping under a carb-rock is the slang word for LCHF or  Low Carbs High Fat way of eating that Tim Noakes introduced in his book The Real Meal Revolution! Now, although we love the idea of eating the crackling and cream and  lashings of butter that we grew up tp believe were the forbidden fruits, there are some things we miss terribly…… like Sunday-night movie chips. It is our little ritual on a Sunday night, when the children have gone to bed, hubby and I grab a blanket and watch a movie together, almost always accompanied by a packet of chips or cheese curls. Oh, how I miss the yellow cheesy fingers. Then I thought about the idea of making Banting Chips.

Banting Chips

banting

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Warm and Spicy tomato soup with Parmesan Crisps

June 5, 2014 in vegetarian

spicy

Everybody in the Western Cape must be snuggling in front of a fire place with a big fluffy blanket and a hot toddy or hot chocolate. Winter is here and from what I read, she is fierce and frightening! What better way than to have a pot of soup bubbling away on the stove, always ready for a cold, hungry child or friend who comes through the doorway.

The problem at the moment is that we do not eat bread and bread and soup are winter buddies right? To find something to dip in the soup or at least have as an accompaniment, is somewhat tricky. We do not like the so-called cup breads or Tim Noakes breads, but we do like “something” with our soup.

Out of desperation, I made these Parmesan Crisps and they worked so well with the spicy tomato soup, the only problem was that I did not make enough…. not nearly enough! We literally arm wrestled for the last one!

Warm and Spicy tomato soup

spicy

Just a reminder that time is running out for your Parmigiano Reggiano recipes in the Cross Cooking competition. Get those recipes out there and loaded on the website and your can not only be included in their recipe book, but there is another MAJOR surprise in store for the winner!

Parmigiano Reggiano

The contest will run from 19thMay until 18thJuly.
Have a great time with Parmigiano Reggiano Chef!
We’re looking forward to receiving your recipe!

Tomorrow  morning  just after the 9 o’clock news, I will be  sharing interesting facts about the King of Cheese !  I will also in weeks to come take you into the kitchens of other bloggers, chefs and interesting South Africans this year. So buckle up, it is going to be an awesome ride. Tune in 100-104FM or listen online here!

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Lamb Shank Pies

May 23, 2014 in lamb

easy lamb shanks

Lamb shanks have become quite pricey, so I make it for special occasions and then we splash out and enjoy the luxury! I love cooking lamb shanks, because it gives me time away from the stove. They like to cook “low and slow” in other words, on a low temperature and for a long time like these  lamb shanks in a rich tomato stew I featured not so long ago! Too delicious! You can even cook them overnight if you use a slow cooker of the warm drawer of your oven, you ill wake up to the glorious smell of the lamb shanks and it will be very difficult to wait until lunchtime. Serve the easy lamb shanks on samp that you have also cooked overnight in the warm drawer and you have a meal fit for a king! Easy, yet cooked from the heart. Looking back on old recipes, I like lamb shanks a lot and have even won a potjiekos competition with my easy lamb shanks!

To make your lamb shanks stretch further, try making pies!

Lamb Shank Pies

( also on video)

easy lamb shanks

These recipes were inspired by Callie Maritz and Marie-Louis Guy who has recently launched their book Cooking for Crowds.

Parmigiano Reggiano Chef – this is your chance!

May 20, 2014 in cheese

Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano (the only Parmesan), certainly the King of cheeses and without a doubt the signature cheese/flavor of so many Italian dishes!

Parmigiano Reggiano, or at least the creators thereof are now after YOUR recipe! Your unique recipe, maybe even within your own cultural cuisine! Maybe the Italians have never tried the combination of boerewors and Parmigiano Reggiano!

Parmigiano Reggiano, with the local support of My Easy Cooking, is organizing Parmigiano Reggiano Chef, an international culinary contest.
This year’s theme is CrossCooKing!
You can put the extraordinary versatility of the King of Cheeses to the test. Reinterpret a typical dish from our culinary culture using this delicious cheese.
Take inspiration from your traditional family recipes or your favourite  ingredients of our versatile country!  What stops you to pair this divine cheese with Amazi in these delicious muffins….or finish off these stuffed figs with some Parmigiano Reggiano? A mushroom tart with parmesan cream is a touch of heaven.

Parmigiano Reggiano

These are just a few of my ideas and sadly, I cannot enter, but YOU CAN!

A panel of chefs will judge and select the 30 recipes to be published in the first Parmigiano Reggiano CrossCooKing recipe book.
It would be fantastic if a South African recipe – maybe your recipe – could be included in this eminent international recipe book!
There will be an amazing surprise for the most interesting interpretation which best demonstrates the ability to integrate the King of Cheeses into traditional recipes from international cuisines.
Register and upload your recipe in English to the dedicated Parmigiano Reggiano Chef section of Parmigiano Reggiano website: http://crosscooking.parmigianoreggiano.com/

If you have any difficulties with this, we will be happy to help you.
You can also include the link to your blog: a fantastic opportunity to let your blog be seen around the world!
Post the recipe on your blog and share it on your social networks. Your readers can follow the competition and join in (it is open to food bloggers, chefs, cookery school students but also to home cooks and those with a love for cooking.

The contest will run from 19thMay until 18thJuly.
Have a great time with Parmigiano Reggiano Chef!
We’re looking forward to receiving your recipe!

Sweet Potato, biltong and Leek Soup

May 19, 2014 in soups

sweet potatoSweet Potato, the new potato in our house! I don;t know if you remeber from previous posts, but I love potatoes in all shapes, sizes and cooked forms, but I cannot remember when last  I ate a potato quite frankly!

Sweet Potato, is a better carbohydrate choice and  has shot up in popularity since Tim Noakes dropped the LCHF way of eating!  I was skeptic but we have learned to love sweet potatoes in more ways than just the golden, sweet South African “soetpatats”! My Sweet Potato gratin, is certainly the recipe in my book that causes the most oooh’s and aaaaah’s, but you have to try it, it is delicious! You can follow this link and see how to make it!

In this delicious soup recipe from Carey Boucher-Erasmus, the editor of Bits of Carey, sweet potato is definitely the hero and pairs beautifully with the biltong and blue cheese

Sweet Potato, biltong and Leek Soup

sweet potato

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Pan-fried Angelfish – Simplicity on a plate!

May 12, 2014 in seafood

fried fish

Fried fish with a luscious green salad has always been one of my go-to meals when inspiration lacks or when I can get my hands on freshly caught fish. Sadly, many people is intimidated by cooking fish and they either end up with a plate full of fish flakes or the fish is oily and tastes of burnt oil.

One of the life lessons that I have learned through trial and error is to ask when I am not knowledgeable about something and though I cook fish often and you might be surprised about this, but the truth be known, I don’t feel comfortable frying fish. I either over cook, under cook or break the fish while trying to turn in over.  Here is how I learned…..

Pan-fried Angelfish

fried fish

Milktarts – everything you need to know!

May 6, 2014 in baked goods

milktart

Milktart brings back fond memories for me! My mom always made the crustless version, maybe because she was always on a tight budget for time! As children we did not mind, because the silky, creamy texture and the crunch of the cinnamon sugar was more than satisfactory to us! Every now and then my mom would order some proper milktarts from Tannie Babbie Steyn! Oh glory days, the puff pastry was something to write epistles about! The texture was so light and fluffy, the taste slightly salty and then you hit the soft, velvety filling! Heaven in every single bite!

There are however so many varieties of milktart and I get weekly emails regarding the milktart . Which pastry is best, do you add whipped egg whites or don’t you! Do you pre-bake the pastry or not? Do you add cinnamon to the milk or afterwards, questions, questions! So on Saturday morning I donned the old apron on and started working my way through all the questions!

Milktarts…….. 3 top recipes!

milktart

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Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms all in one pan!

May 2, 2014 in Chicken

creamy chicken

Creamy Chicken for supper and only one pan to wash, seems to be the kind of meal we should often have! I have had a week from hell and looking back not sure just how I survived it, but I am happy to report the family only had pies one night this week! Yes, it was homemade, just not made in my home!

Anyone can make a creamy chicken casserole, some even use a packet to make chicken a la king or  a deliciously creamy masala chicken! The trick is to use as little as possible to get the most flavor out of the dish! Meraai se Paai ( most probably the recipe most searched for here on My Easy Cooking) is made with a creamy chicken filling and a buttery puff pastry crust! Out of the world!

The creamy chicken dish was made out of desperation, I had cream, chicken and mushrooms……. quite a lot if you consider that some people only have dry bread to eat, but to try and create something worth posting, is tricky with such limited ingredients!

Creamy Chicken One-pan wonder

creamy chicken

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Pickled Fish Salad for Easter

April 15, 2014 in seafood

pickled fish

Pickled fish is such a tradition here in the Cape this time of the year or around Easter and if you travel through the streets there is always an aromatic cloud of curry flavors hanging in the air! I love it!

I like to keep thinks simple, so I wanted to make a quick Pickled fish salad. I wanted the flavor and idea of eating pickled fish without the schlep of slicing 10kg onions and filleting fish! I bought yellow fin tuna a while back and thought it would be perfect for my pickled fish Salad. This is my lighter version of this Easter Classic!

Pickled Fish Salad

pickled fish

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