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Homemade Sage & Onion Pork Sausages

2 July 2014 in Cheap and cheerful, Economical, Pork, Uncategorized

 

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I have lusted over kitchenAid mixers in shops for years.

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Now I have one *smug smile* and I have to say that it is worth every cent of it’s hefty price tag, mine is even sweeter as I won it, thanks to Blue Ribbon Bread.

Unlike my old mixer I do not have to lean my entire body weight on the top to get it to mix properly. The KitchenAid does everything beautifully and when I make pizza or pasta dough there is not a scrap left in that shiny shiny bowl!

We were both very keen to try out the mincer and the sausage maker attachments and our butcher obliged by having a special on Pork at R29.99 and selling us the casing and some extra pork fat.  We tried to make sausages a while ago with a piping bag, which was painful in the extreme and the sausages were just too meaty for our taste.So with this in mind we made sure we had enough fat content and played with the ingredients until we were happy.

Sage & Onion Pork Sausages

750g minced pork

175g pork fat

50g dried breadcrumbs

1/2 medium onion finely diced

1.5 tsp salt

1 tsp white pepper

fresh sage leaves finely chopped, I used about 20 smallish leaves

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

Mincing the meat

Cut the meat into cubes and pop into a plastic bag and put it into your freezer, you don’t want to freeze the meat, but you want it nice and firm, it minces so much easier.

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The next step is to soak the casing, you will need about 3 metres. Fill a bowl with cold water and drop your casing into it. Then holding one end open gently run tap water through the length of the casing. I will save you from the lewd comments that flew around during this process! :)

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Place your minced meat and fat into a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper chopped sage leaves, onion and nutmeg and mix thoroughly.

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Now is the time to check how it tastes, make a tiny patty and fry it to check seasoning, etc. Don’t skip this step, this is how you get your sausage just how you like it.

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Making the sausages

I was a bit squeamish about the casings and declared anything to do with them a ‘Blue’ job, taking out the rubbish is a blue job, as is gardening. Drinking wine with a book in your hand is a pink job! ;)  Firstly, you have to tie your casing onto the spout of the sausage maker and then gently feed the rest of the casing onto the feeder, remember to tie a knot in the end. Then, finally it’s showtime!  I fed the mince mix into the mincer and Himself was on sausage control.  Making sausages is definitely a pink and a blue job!

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Don’t pack the meat in too tightly, leave room to be able to twist them into sausages.

We were very proud of our efforts and extremely pleased with the taste, also it was great to know exactly what went into our bangers.

Here’s some of my pork sausage recipes that everyone enjoys, click on the link to be taken to the recipes.

Pork Sausage Meatballs in Sweet & Sour Sauce

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 Saucy Pork Bangers

Sausages

 My Mum’s recipe for the best sausage rolls!

Sausage rolls

 

 

 

 

Blue Ribbon Bread is made for me!

20 March 2014 in Uncategorized

I was very fortunate to win Blue Ribbon’s kitchen makeover competition on Facebook recently with my Mushroom Strata recipe.

My Mushroom Strata stylishly presented by Executive Chef Riaan Gould who judged the five finalists.

My Mushroom Strata stylishly presented by Executive Chef Riaan Gould who judged the five finalists.

The prize was a R25 000 kitchen makeover, I had to choice of putting the money towards a new kitchen or opting for a voucher to buy appliances. It was a no-brainer for me, so I got to spend all that dosh with Yuppiechef, it was really hard trying to choose…..NOT! :)

Then Blue Ribbon broke the news that they would be delivering all my goodies and making a video to be shown on social media *GULP*

It’s not everyday you have one of these in your driveway…

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 Then the unloading began and my kitchen started to fill up…

kitchenI can’t tell you how exciting it was, the three ladies that helped make the day so much fun….

Ashleigh Kondonis, Anne Daniels & photographer Minette Van Der Walt

Ashleigh Kondonis, Anne Daniels & photographer Minette Van Der Walt

As you might expect, I have been busy playing with all my new toys and I promise there will be posts forthcoming.

If you would like to see the video that Blue Ribbon made in my home and see me unpacking my goodies then click here Himself even makes a cameo appearance!

Follow their Facebook page and keep an eye out for their competitions.

Thank you again Blue Ribbon.

My Version of Pronto Mama’s Slow Roasted Tomatoes in a Spicy Vinaigrette

1 April 2013 in Easy to prepare, Economical, Jams & Preserves, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”

There is a range of sauces by Pronto Mama that are simply delicious, sadly they don’t appear to be available here in Natal. So when every baby tomato plant opted to ripen all-of-a-sardine I decided to attempt  to replicate their Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes in a Spicy Vinaigrette with Rosemary.

The label clearly states what is used in the preparation but them dastardly devious folk refrain from telling you exactly what herbs and spices were used! :)

This is not a recipe as such, it’s just wot I done innit……

I sliced my cherry tomatoes in half, roughly chopped some red pepper, chucked in an unpeeled clove of garlic, drizzled everything with olive oil, sprinkled with sugar, salt and pepper and few tiny sprigs of rosemary.

Then I slowly roasted them for 2 hours @ 95c

(discard the blackened rosemary after cooking)

Next step was the vinaigrette, which as long as you stick to the base of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar you can add anything you like.

I used:

150 oil

50 vinegar

1/4 tsp mustard powder

2 tsp my homemade chilli jam or you could use fresh chilli (to your taste)

1 tsp honey

1 clove garlic cooked and crushed

1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped

Whisk everything together, season to taste and set aside.

Chop half a small onion and some olives.

Pack the cooked tomatoes, onion and olives into clean jars and top with the vinaigrette, cover with lids and leave to steep for a couple of weeks.

Did I achieve the same delightful taste of Pronto Mama? of course not, but I was very pleased with what evolved. It’s especially good  on pizza or bruschetta, great as part of a  mezze platter or with pasta, the uses are endless. Once you have used all the filling, the oil that remains makes a wonderful salad dressing.

I was not remunerated for writing this post in any way and I do hope the good people at Pronto Mama will forgive me for even thinking I could re-create their product……but you can’t blame a girl for trying! :)

 I topped this Easy Cheese Slice with a dollop and it was really lekker (South African for really good)

 

Chicken Parcels – feed 4 for under R30.00

16 July 2012 in Cheap and cheerful, Easy to prepare, Uncategorized

 

You know me……if it’s on special! :)

When you see chicken fillets at reduced like these, that’s the time to buy in and freeze, in this case each packet had 4 individually wrapped pieces.

It just so happened that the veggie shop were offering spinach at 3 bunches for R10.00 and so this dish evolved. I used very little of the spinach for this recipe, the remainder went into the freezer.

4 chicken Breasts R18.08

cooked spinach*

feta cheese*

1/2 chopped onion*

1 tin of tomatoes (4  tins for R20) R5.00

1/2 tsp sugar

herbs fresh or dried of your choice

2 tsp red Princess Pesto (optional)*

seasoning

 

Using a mallet or a rolling pin and some plastic, bash your chicken breast until it looks something like this.

Place some feta and spinach in the centre of the flattened chicken piece, not too much because it will be difficult to roll.

Bring the sides in towards the middle and then roll into a parcel and put into your dish seam side down. I used little individual pots, if you cook all four portions together make sure they fit the dish snugly and that your dish has a lid (or cover with tin foil).

Open a tin of tomatoes and blitz in the blender,  in a little oil gently fry the onions until they are soft, add the tomatoes, sugar, seasoning, herbs and the pesto if using. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour sauce over the chicken parcels and cook @180 degrees for 35 minutes.

* I didn’t cost out the feta, spinach & pesto exactly, because the cost there is minimal and the remaining ingredients are to found in most households.

 

Quick and Easy Honey Mustard Chicken

9 May 2012 in Cheap and cheerful, Easy to prepare, Uncategorized

I have dutifully watched Master Chef South Africa in the abject hope that it would come right after a few episodes. Sadly I am still underwhelmed, it’s a pity they didn’t have some of our talented Food24 bloggers in there, they would have knocked spots off most of those contestants!  Chef Andrew takes over-acting to a whole new level and ag sies tog*  his mommy dresses him funny!

I had no intention of posting this dish, hence no prep pics but it turned out so nicely.  If the chicken breasts are large I tend to cut them in half, I’m not a big eater, more of a little & often grazer, which means I always have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Oranges are in season so do try and use fresh orange juice in this easy-peasy recipe.

2 chicken breasts on the bone, skin removed

1 small onion sliced  thickly

250mls fresh orange juice

1 inch sized knob of ginger grated

2 TBSP old brown sherry

1 TBS honey

1 tsp wholegrain mustard (this cuts the sweetness without making the dish burny, so it’s ok for kids)

1 TBSP raisins or sultanas (optional)

1 TBSP cornflour

Seasoning to taste

Heat your oven to 180c

Place the breasts and the onion slices in an ovenproof dish that has a lid.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients adding the cornflour last,  and pour over the chicken.

Bake for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes to colour.

If the sauce is too thick add a little more juice.

* Ag sies tog is Afrikaans for poor thing/ jeepers/ shame/ expression of sympathy

 

Budget Beater for Meatless Monday

15 April 2012 in Budget Beater, Easy to prepare, Uncategorized

Himself has not embraced Meatless Mondays with any degree of fervour, in fact he started to play squash on a Monday “don’t do supper for me babe, I’ll eat at the club” So I fool him every-now-and-then by slipping in a vegetarian option when he’s least expecting it, he got this for lunch on Saturday and I got his long-suffering sigh when he realised he wasn’t getting a wors roll like he normally does!

After eating his, and part of mine he said “that wasn’t bad!” I don’t think I have a vegetarian in the making but it was a huge improvement on some of his previous comments let me tell you! I enjoyed it, don’t be tempted to leave out the topping it really adds to the dish.

Sweet Potatoes stuffed with Curried Beans

4 sweet potatoes

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced

1 TSP oil

2 tsp butter

2 tsp curry powder

½ tsp turmeric

½ clove of garlic grated finely

1 tin baked beans

I green chilli (split open, remove seeds with a knife and cut into 4 pieces, wash your hands immediately!)

Seasoning

 

Topping

4 heaped TSP Greek style yoghurt

3 spring onions chopped

3cm cucumber chopped

Seasoning

Firstly you need to bake your potatoes in the oven @ 180 until done about 30 – 45 minutes depending on size, test with a sharp knife. I find this way quite lengthy, so I give the spuds a wash, pierce them and stick them in the microwave for 10 mins on high, then I finish them in the oven until the skin is crunchy (my preference) but you do them whatever way floats your boat!

Using 1 TSP of oil fry the onions really gently, take your time, until they look like this….

Add 2 tsp butter until melted then add the curry powder, turmeric and grated garlic. I decided to try out the Chisa Faya Extra Hot Curry Powder that I got in my winners hamper…click here to read the amusing story of how I won.

Pour the tin of beans into a saucepan and add the cooked onions and the chilli.

Simmer very gently for 10 – 15 minutes, if your beans are lacking sauce add some water, check for seasoning.

Mix the yoghurt with the chopped spring onions, cucumber and seasoning.

Cut open your sweet potato, I much prefer the orange ones as I hate how the normal ones discolour.

Spoon in the beans and top with the yogurt mix.

We don’t do Valentine’s Day….

14 February 2012 in Uncategorized

Like Ishay from Food and the Fabulous I was also asked to write a Valentine’s Day piece for the City Press iMag. Strike one was when they wanted it from The Older Married Couple point of view, strike two was after I submited my pearls of wisdom the editor said they wouldn’t be using it because she had mistakenly assumed I was a man! Who knew I wrote so butch?!

This is what I submitted….

We’ve been married for 31 years and I would be lying if I said our marriage was full of romance, love and humour certainly, romantic gestures? nah!. Indeed, every year on our Christmas Eve wedding anniversary we toast each other and one of us will say “well that’s another year down the drain then?!” did I mention humour? We have never felt the need to celebrate Valentines Day, to us it’s how you treat each other throughout the year that counts.

If  I were to make a romantic dinner for us, it would be at home, bear in mind he would see the candles on the dining room table and ask who’s coming for dinner?  The menu would be a mix of our favourite foods from over the years, he adores my Peri Peri Chicken Livers with crusty bread, making that is truly a labour of love on my part, not only do I not like liver, I hate the texture and feel of it *shudder* I would just chomp daintily on the bread you understand.

Main course would be Chateaubriand with a Béarnaise Sauce, we both love beef fillet and I rarely make the sauce as it’s a heart-attack on a plate….and I do need to hang on to the old codger for a bit longer!

Dessert would be our hairy-old-family-favourite of Strawberry Rolled Pavlova, it’s a light pudding which would be perfect after the beef.

Click here for step-by-step instructions for a rolled pavlova.

Actually I lied, we do have the odd romantic gesture, someone got heart-shaped sarmies today…………large pause for everyone to go aaaaahhh! *rolls eyes*

 

Last post for 2011 – Delicious Pork Belly

21 December 2011 in Easy to prepare, Uncategorized

This is my last post for the year, I have much to do before my children and my dudes (grandsons) descend on Saturday. The tree has to be rescued from storage in the garage ceiling, the lights have to be untangled and I have to listen to the Christmas Grinch (Himself) muttering expletives whilst he tries to get said lights to work!

My daughter-in-law said that she doesn’t care what I serve this weekend as long as my sausage rolls and mince pies appear on  Christmas morning, it’s something we have always eaten when opening the pressies accompanied by the mandatory Bucks Fizz!  I have made the sausage rolls and they languish in the freezer, the homemade mincemeat  is busy sucking up booze in the outside fridge as I type,  so I’m on track. *Note to self, only give the dudes sausage rolls*

I’ve been feeling a bit ‘cooked-out’ so basic was on the menu this past weekend,  a 1kg belly of pork rubbed with…….real foodies look away now…. Aromat*  and some Chinese spices, tossed into a 200 degree oven for an hour and then turn the oven down to 180 oven and cook for another hour. I served it simply with baked potatoes and a coleslaw, it was melt in the mouth pork with crisp cracking,  it was so good!

 

Roast Pork Belly

 

*Aromat is a South African seasoning full of healthy ingredients such as monosodium glutamate and artery clogging flavorants! :)

After Christmas we are off to the Eastern Cape for a break with good friends, so lots to look forward to. I wish you and yours every happiness over the festive season, all the best for 2012 and safe travels wherever you may roam.

 

 

 

 

A post mainly for food bloggers, but could be of interest to others if you love junk shops!

22 July 2011 in Uncategorized

I have been learning the importance of styling photographs for your food blog, for example the dull spoon or fork that doesn’t reflect  the light, and I was explaining this to my mother on my recent trip to England to see the parentals. “Oh we must take you to Horncastle” she said, and off we went, with me in the driving seat!

It was one of the hottest days, by 11am I felt I could remove my jacket and bare my arms to the weak sun rays that were emanating from that watered-down-pale-blue-thing-they-call sky! (sods law the temps soared the minute my plane took off back to South Africa)

Mum had described the place we were going to, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to see. In the courtyard there were thousands of plates. Then the properties on either side of the courtyard had room upon room of food stylist porn.

You guys would have loved it, I rummaged and I delved, I came up for air to deposit things with my Dad who had found a place to sit and was patiently waiting for my mother and I to emerge. We did eventually, both with very dirty hands! I could have bought loads, sadly there’s that dastardly thing called baggage allowance. As it was, I did not so much pull my 28kg suitcase across London……I dragged it! the wheels decided to quit on me.

WARNING! Food bloggers of an envious or sensitive nature, look away now!

More plates and stuff

Old hot water bottles, yes, this is what you popped into your bed to warm it up! Look at all those old bottles.

I wanted these buckets!

So much to take in and this was just a portion.

This is some of my spoils, just to really tick (I’m being polite) you off, I only paid 10p per piece for the cutlery.

Tropical Rolled Pavlova

14 October 2010 in Uncategorized

This dessert is a favourite in our house, I usually make it with strawberries or raspberries, but I had two tins of passion fruit that needed to be used up, so it went tropical this time.

It’s a showy pud that never fails to impress and it’s really easy to make once you get the hang of it.

4 Egg Whites

8 TSP Castor Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Vinegar

1 tsp Cream of Tartar

1 Dessertspoon of Cornflour

½ cup Desicated Coconut (optional)

1 Tub of Fresh Cream

Line a baking tray with foil shiny side down and brush with oil – I often use my oven tray, but then I do one and a half times the recipe.

Heat oven to 180 degrees.

Sprinkle the coconut onto your greased tray.

Start beating the egg whites and as they thicken add the cornflour and 6 TSP of the sugar.

Gradually beat in the tartar and vinegar. When stiff fold in the remaining sugar.

Spead evenly onto the baking tray.

Bake for 12 minutes.

 The Pav about to go in the oven  After 12 minutes in the oven

(For captions touch the photo)

While the pav is cooking spread another sheet of foil on your work surface and lightly grease it. When your pav is cool turn it out onto the greased foil and carefully lift the upper foil away from it.

 Peeling away the foil  Spread with cream and fruit

Spead with whipped cream (save some for decoration) and then your fruit, if using berries chop them. Now comes the tricky bit, using the foil you carefully roll it up, like you would a swiss roll. Once rolled cut away any foil to make it easier to slide it onto a serving dish, I find an extra pair of hands here is very useful.

Pipe the remaining cream on the top and decorate with berries or in this case a few drizzles of passion fruit & some mint.