Local Heart, Global Soul

June 24, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Easy Chicken Kebabs

Filed under: FOOD,INDIA,Indian Cusine,PHOTOGRAPHY,Recipes — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Chicken Kebab

500 grams Chicken mince
2 Tablespoons grated garlic
2 Tablespoons grated ginger
3-4 finely chopped shallots (or one medium onion)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 Tablespoons plain yogurt
1 egg yoke
3-4 Tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
2-3 finely chopped chilies (optional)
3-4 Tablespoons Laziza’s seekh kabab powder (optional, it gives a more spicy taste).

I’m almost at the end of my Indian Cooking Lesson Series and I understand that people around the world may have difficulty in finding (or not) many of the specialist ingredients in the recipes that I’ve posted in recent weeks.

Therefore in just a few days time I will be running a competition where you  are  invited to make a comment on getting to know these genuine Indian recipes… or review them if you have tried them out!

One lucky winner will then receive a parcel of the more specialist items so that they can make and enjoy these recipes at home as well.  It could be YOU so  …..Watch this space!

Method:

To your chicken mince…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…Add the finely chopped onion (or shallots)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then the grated ginger…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And the garlic… and mix well into the minced chicken.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the lemon juice…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…and the chopped chilies (if using)… and mix well again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Separate the egg,  (you will only be using the yoke for this recipe)… add the yoke to the chicken mixture.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the freshly chopped coriander…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And the yogurt…  and mix again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is what Laziza Seekh Kebab powder looks like,  it gives extra flavour to the mix…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the Laziza Seekh Kebab powder to the minced chicken mixture…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cover the bowl and put into the fridge for at least one hour so that the flavours meld…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Moisten your palms with a little water and roll the meat mixture into 20-25 evenly sized balls that you flatten slightly…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Place the kebabs under a moderately hot grill for 8-10 minutes… or until they are cooked and golden brown, turning them over once or twice as necessary…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Turned over and back into the oven..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

All cooked… just have to plate them up nicely.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The finished kebabs… Serve hot!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Teacher’s Serving Tips: These tasty kebabs can be served with drinks or as a starter with rice and lentils (dal). Serve with chopped onions/ spring onions and lemon wedges. These can be frozen but reheat using an oven. The kebabs can also be barbecued or fried in a shallow pan.

Kiwi’s Notes: These are amazing… I’d personally choose a spicy sauce, the raita or coriander chutney recipes from this set of lessons to go with them and my biggest tip? Make a double batch because these are going to disappear fast!

June 18, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Get The Party Started With These Easy Fried Potato Balls

Filed under: FOOD,INDIA,Indian Cusine,PHOTOGRAPHY,Recipes — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Fried Potato Balls 

sunflower oil for deep frying

3 medium potatoes
1 onion (finely chopped)
1-2 green chili (chopped) (optional)
2 Tablespoons coriander (fresh, chopped) (also known as “cilantro” in North America)
1 Tablespoon ginger (finely chopped or grated)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Salt to taste

Batter:

6-7 Tablespoons gram flour (chick pea flour)
200 ml water (approximately half a cup)

Teacher’s Notes:

These can be made a day in advance, but don’t  keep them in the fridge, store them instead in foil at room temperature, then reheat the next day in the oven (not in the microwave or they will go soft and soggy) . Serving Tip: as a snack with drinks or with lentils and rice as a starter.

Kiwidutch’s notes:  Don’t tell anyone, but these are really easy to make!  Himself really isn’t a fan of lemon juice and said he found the lemon a little overpowering, I knew that more people we would be serving wouldn’t like the lemon so much either. Therefore when I made these for a family party I took a step away from the authentic recipe and substituted black onion seeds for the lemon juice and it was also a big hit.

You also don’t need a deep fryer for this, a pan will do fine:  as with the Bhajis the only difference I can see between the two is that my fryer has a bigger capacity so I can fry more potato balls in one batch. As far as taste is concerned both methods are great.  I made them (one day in advance) and found that popping them into a pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes at (200 C / 400 F) meant that the balls were nice and hot all the way though.

As usual a ton of step-by-step photographs to guide you through the recipe.

Method:

Boil the potatoes until soft. Allow them to cool a little, peel and mash. (Kiwi’s note: I peeled mine before boiling)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the chilies (if using)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the finely chopped onion… yes it’s raw! (it won’t taste raw after you’ve fried them).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the fresh coriander (cilantro)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the lemon juice…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Mix well with your hands…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the salt…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then the ginger…  and mix again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Form into small balls. Leave  to one side whilst you make the batter.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Prepare the batter by mixing the gram flour with the water and whisk well. (The batter should be fractionally thinner than that of an onion bhaji mixture).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add a little salt to the batter…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Heat the sunflower oil…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Coat the potato balls with the batter and deep fry in preheated sunflower oil but be careful not to overcrowd the pan…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cook until golden brown. Do scoop out any stray bits of batter from the oil after each batch. Put the potato balls you have already fried into a dish into the oven whilst you fry the rest (if you will be eating them right away)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These are the ones I made at home later… (with onion and spinach Bhaji) …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 16, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: How to Cook Perfect Papadam/Pappadum’s Without a Single Drop of Oil…

Filed under: FOOD,INDIA,Indian Cusine,PHOTOGRAPHY,Recipes — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I love papadams but because I can’t exercise easily due to my foot injury/ recovery process, am trying to eat extra healthily instead.

Therefore I  have shied away from papadams because they are fried in oil.

Wikipedia tells me:

“Papadam, (also known as “Papad” in Northern India, “Appadam” in Telugu and “Pappadum” in the rest of south India; spellings vary) is a thin, crisp disc-shaped Indian food typically based on a seasoned dough made from black gram (urad flour), fried or cooked with dry heat.

Flours made from other sources such as lentils, chickpeas, rice, or potato, can be used. Papadams are typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India, or as an appetizer or snack, sometimes with toppings such as chopped onions, chopped carrots, chutneys or other dips and condiments. In North India, the lentil variety is more popular and is usually called ‘papad’.

Papad is often associated with the feminist empowerment of women in India. Many individual and organized businesses run by women produce papad, pickles, and other snacks. This provides them regular income from minimal financial investments.

Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is an organization owned and run solely by women that produces large quantities of papadums on the open market which started as a small business in the late 1950s, with an annual income in 2005 of about Rs.3.15 billion, or US$80 million.”

You can imagine my delight when I discovered at the Indian cooking class that papadams don’t need to be cooked in oil at all.All you need to do is to set an uncooked papadam on a paper towel in your microwave and cook on high power for 1 minute.

Edited to add: I made some for a family party today and after 1 minute some of them started to burn, whereas the ones I made earlier were perfect with one  minute… 35 seconds were all today’s lot took, so experiment with your own microwave to find the perfect time.  I found I could do three at one time for 35 seconds too. My kids watched with amazement as they watched them puff up, they think doing these in the microwave is “way cool!”” LOL.

Result: one perfect papadam, with not a drop of oil! No fuss, no mess and a tasty treat to serve with pickles or any of the Indian dishes I have been learning.  How Seriously easy is that?  For me at least it’s complete and utter Magic!

When Himself went to the Indian specialist shop the staff gave him a different brand of papadum to the one our teacher had. I tried it out and after 1 minute in the microwave it was perfect too!!!  (the first 30 seconds it kind of explodes and gets bigger, but I checked and it’s a little tough, raw looking, too much the same texture as the “before”version: the last 30 seconds finished off the cooking process).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papadum

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My package of papadums,  and how one of them looks before and after 1 minute in the microwave…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 13, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Raita ( An Easy Yoghurt Accompaniment to Spicy Indian Dishes)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This easy yogurt and cucumber dish makes a refreshing accompaniment to many of the spicier Indian dishes.

We were advised by our Indian cooking teacher that grating the cucumber  by hand with a grater gives a far better result than using a food processor.

Raita (Yoghurt Accompaniment)

1 Cup yogurt, (whisked until smooth)
¼ – ½ cucumber (grated)
½ onion (grated or minced)
4-5 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 teaspoon chili powder (optional) if possible use Kashmiri mirch powder (a chili powder that gives better taste and colour)

1 teaspoon roasted jerra  (Cumin) powder
handful of fresh coriander (roughly chopped)

Even though it’s a simple recipe I have still made step-by-step photographs of the process.

Method:

Whisk the yogurt until it’s completely smooth.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Coarsely grate half of a cucumber into the yoghurt. Our teacher washed the cucumber and grated it with the skin still on.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the minced onion…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add a little water … not too much, this is the consistency you are looking for…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If using add the chili / Kashmiri mirch powder …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… and the roasted cumin powder (our teacher roasts this herself)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sprinkle  coriander leaves over the mix. The chili, cumin powders and coriander are not  folded into the mixture because the dish presents better with the coriander etc on the top like this.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The final mixtures should be thick but still runny. Keep in the fridge until served.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Note: Raita goes well with Chicken Tikka Masala, most snacks e.g. samosa, kebabs, (as a dip etc), saffron rice, peas pulao, biriyani and so on. Due to it’s cooling effect it is often served with hot spicy dishes. Can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days without loss of taste.

Kiwi’s personal  notes: this was delicious. I would prefer to make it at home with less or no chili simply because other dishes would already be spicy, but even with the Kashmiri mirch powder in it and I’m not too used to heat, this was really ok.

December 23, 2011

Quick, Easy, Simple, Gorgeous and Delicious Christmas Tray Treats your Kids can Whip up in a Jiffy!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I had a friend babysit our kids at her house whilst we sneaked out to the shops to “help Santa”  bring in some surprises for Christmas Day.

When we came back later to collect the children they surprised us with a lovely treat:  her son and our two had been busy in the kitchen making some wonderful little Christmas tray treats.

Simple ingredients, easy to make and looking amazing!

These little Christmas “puddings” are not “puddings” at all, but are really just mallowpuff biscuits, partly covered with melted white chocolate, and topped with New Zealand “lollies” (sweets/snoepjes/candy) in the form of  gummy spearmint leaves and a Jaffa.

Since these were presented fully-made and as a surprise, I didn’t get the chance to photograph the seperate ingredients, but here are links to photos that should shed some light on what the ingredients actually are .

Mallowpuffs are described as “Light fluffy marshmallow sitting on top of a shortcake biscuit, covered in luxurious milk chocolate.”  and you can see a picture of them here:  http://www.griffins.co.nz/by-name/mallowpuffs

Spearmint Leaves are a soft-ish chewy gummy type sweet, tasting (naturally enough) of spearmint and shaped like a leaf.  Here’s a link to a photograph: http://www.lollyworld.com.au/pascall-spearmint-leaves-2kg-bulk-nz-lollies-624.html

And Jaffa’s are a classic New Zealand sweet that all Kiwi’s know and love, they are little balls of chocolate covered in a hard orange candy shell : http://www.shopnewzealand.co.nz/en/cp/Cadbury_Jaffas_140g

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ingredients:
– Mallowpuffs
– White Chocolate
– Spearmint leaf lollies/sweets/ candy
– Jaffa lollies/sweets/ candy

Method:
Cut the spearmint leaves in half (lengthwise) , melt the white chocolate, put into a piping bag (or sturdy plastic bag with a corner snipped off) and pipe  it onto the top of the mallowpuff biscuits (cookies).

Then place the spearmint leaf pieces into the choclate and top with a jaffa for the “berry”  in the centre.

My friend melted the white chocolate and supervised the piping, her 11 year old son cut the leaves in half with a sharp knife and my 10 and 6 year olds made a little production line with the 11 year old to assemble everything.

They made a grand effort and doesn’t the result look stunning?  (I think so!!!)

Maybe you will need to find similar “style”  ingredients where you are if an exact match isn’t possible, but the idea is blissfully easy and if three kids can whip up three trays of these with  minimal  help from an adult, then it proves  that this would be a quick and easy winner of a recipe for any busy adult (or adult with kids) to whip up for  that work afternoon-tea,  end-of-year school party, or sports function etc.

As an addition to your Christmas baking trays, they couldn’t be easier and they look wonderfully festive!

The note reads… “dear Mama and Daddy, Love from …(Kids names obscured for internet privacy).

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve been warned that trying to substitute icing / frosting for the white chocolate is fraught with difficulty, because  unless the icing/frosting is of an exact consistency, it will simply slide off the side of the mallowpuff into puddles at the bottom, so DO use white chocolate  which I’ve been assured is pretty much foolproof.

So… How do they taste? Excellent!… I “needed” to taste several to make sure LOL . Enjoy!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 2, 2011

Felt Christmas Ornament, the Kiwidutch Version…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s the beginning of December and for many western countries the shops have the  Christmas decorations out,  the background Carol music on and are cranking up their offerings of merchandise  to reap  the commercial benefits of the Christmas festive season.

I love the Christmas festivities too, but prefer to try and keep things  low key and true to the origonal spirit of  Christmas as much as possible by emphasising the value of gifts that are handmade with love, time and patience.

Tasks 11 and 12 on my “101 Tasks in 1001 Days”  project  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/about/101-things-in-1001-days/   are to make a handmade Christmas tree decoration for each of my two children, each year.

Many of my decorations in the past have been cross-stitched: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/stitching-ornament-heirlooms-for-kids/ but I’ve been branching out into felt ornaments in the last year and fancied making something a bit different  than cross-stitch  ones for a change.

Then I stumbled on a craft post on the internet that got me thinking… Jessica Okui  at  http://zakkalife.blogspot.com/2009/11/craft-project-felt-christmas-ornament.html  made a beautiful Christmas decoration from felt, ones that echoes a design of  paper or card decoration designs I have seen around  for years.

I liked the idea of working it in felt, but there were a few points about Jessica’s version that I still felt I wanted to tweek for my version.

First I knew I wanted all the edges of my ornament  to be stitched. Secondly, I knew I  wanted to stitch the two pieces of felt next to each other that radiate directly from the top and bottom of the ornament instead of leaving them oen as they are in Jessica’s version.

Lastly, I wanted not just to stitch the  sections together with thread but also to add beads. Shiny, sparkly beads, to twinkle in the light of tree lights.

So… here is a Step-by-Step tutorial of  the Kiwidutch Modified Version of a Felt Christmas Ornament.

Materials:
– 6 circles cut from felt  (mine each measure 6-7 cm / 2 inches across).
– Beads of your choice
– Needle that will fit through your beads. (a sharp needle goes though the felt easier than a blunt one)
– Embroidery thread of the colour of your choice ( mine match either the bead or the felt or both)
– Thread in contrasting colour  (for basting)
–  Decorative cord or ribbon for hanging up your ornament (20-24 cm / 6-7 inches)

Method:
1) Cut six circles of  felt fabric in the colour of your choice. I die-cut mine but tracing around a small jar lid would work just as well.

2) Place two of the circles over each other and with a contrasting basting thread, make a loose line across it vertically and horizontally, effectively making your circle into quarters. Then, still with your basting thread, divide each quarter in half again so that you finish with two circles of felt sewn together, and marked out in eighths.( This sounds more complicated when it is, the photograph below with the white circles and blue thread should make it clear).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

3) At the top of one of the basting lines, and stitching through both layers of felt,  attach a bead then blanket stitch the two edges together until you reach the next basting line,  add another bead, blanket stitch to the next basting line and add the last bead.  You will now have three beads attached with blanket stitch joining the sections between them.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

4) Repeat step (3)  only  at the ends of a basting line with a bead on it.This will give you a circle with: bead-blanket stitch, bead-blanket stitch-bead, then a basting line with no stitching  or bead at either end, and then bead-blanket stitch, bead-blanket stitch-bead again. (Again, it sounds complicated when I describe it, but the photo will show  you how simple it is)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

5) Repeat this process with the other two felt circle pairs. Once they are all completed, fold your decorative ribbon (for hanging it up)  in half and secure it to one side of the middle layer, then line up the other two sets of  felt  on the outsides so that the beads match.

Hand-stitch from centre bead (top) to centre bead (bottom, through all six layers of felt. (Opps, I know the felt has changed colour, I forgot to photograph this step on the white one).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

6) Starting at one of the beads that is not on the centre line, blanket stitch only one layer of the two  along  the unstitched edge until you reach half-way along the circle,  take  the closest piece of  felt from the next felt circle pair and join them together with a bead. (look at the stitched and unstitched sections of  the centre of the ornament in the next photograph to make this clear).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The easiest way to stitch this is to make a zig-zag pattern all around one side of the ornament, joining all the centres in the middle until you get back to your starting point and then to turn the ornament around and blanket stitch the remaining unstitched edges in the same manner.

Voila! a beautiful hand-stitched Felt Christmas Tree Ornament, made with love and that will make your tree sparkle for years (and even generations)  to come.

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that in the red ornament photo above, there are eight circles of felt (4 doubles together) and not three, as in the white.   The  red and yellow ornaments were experients where I used eight circles of felt  (4 doubles together).  Whilst I first thought that eight would be better than six, the finished  product is I think actually too “squished” in appearance. If you pull one side to make it look right it immediately squishes up on the other side.

To the other extreme the even bigger white ornament was made with 24 circles:  twelve “doubles”and I quickly saw that it looks very cramped indeed. I also used white beads on that one and they hardly show up or sparkle at all (at least in comparison to the dark glossy beads I used for the others).

This means that six circles of felt (3 doubles) appears in my opinion to work best and these are my new Christmas favourites!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 1, 2011

Quick, Easy and Delicious Bruschetta

Filed under: FOOD,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is one of the recipes that I’ve made and reviewed as a member of Recipezaar (now Food.com).

We are expecting family and friends at our home this weekend to celebrate Sint Nicolas together, and usually I’d be cooking for the whole crowd, but not being mobile forced a change of plan.

Instead I’ve farmed out several dishes that guests will make and bring and I’ll have a couple of willing sous chefs in my kitchen helping out with putting together the recipes I want to make.

We will have about six vegetarians coming to dine and many of my recent favourite recipes have meat in them so I started thinking of vegetarian alternatives.  One of the things I was missing in our menu was a nice easy vegetarian appetiser/entrée to start off the meal and then I remembered this recipe from Food.com member  “Shabby-Sign-Shoppe

What I really liked about this recipe is that it used tinned (canned) tomatoes,  it’s mega easy to throw together, and it tastes great.

Best of all though: I first thought  in my original review that this recipe would be better if the garlic had been sautéed first to take the sharp edges off the taste, but having made it more than once. discovered by accident that  if you make it a day in advance then the flavours mellow wonderfully all by themselves and no sautéing is necessary.

The only other change  I have made is to radically decrease the amount of olive oil stated in the original recipe below, depending on how much juice are in your tinned  tomatoes, you will be able to decrease it a LOT, (just eyeball it and add only a tiny drizzle at a time until it looks right).  Excellent for those of us trying to enjoy festive season menu’s without watching the calorie count climb towards the stratosphere.

Don’t skimp on the garlic or the fresh basil… they are the makers or breakers of a good Bruschetta and will make all the difference to the success of the result. I’ve put  link to the original recipe at the bottom of this post so that if you make it and want to leave a review for  “Shabby-Sign-Shoppe”  then you can.

Ingredients:

2 (15 ounce) cans plain diced tomatoes, drained, rinsed
5 -6 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 dash lemon pepper
fresh basil, chiffonade (about a handful)
salt and pepper

Method:

Mix all together and refridge at least 2 hrs, longer is preferable.
Serve with fresh or toasted french bread.

http://www.food.com/recipe/dee-licious-bruschetta-37718

November 1, 2011

Kiwi’s Jam Muffins, Apricot or Otherwise…

Filed under: FOOD,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I adapted this recipe from a New Zealand cookbook called “Quick n’ Easy Muffins, Cakes, Biscuits, Slices, Loaves, Scones” and they were voted a winner after being served to my daughter’s teachers at school as a birthday tray year before last.

Since then we make them as a treat and you can use any flavour jam (or “jelly”as our North American friends like to call it) that you have to hand, (we do love apricot as a personal favourite though).

DO grease the pan well so that they slip out easily and if the jam leaks out, get the muffin out of the form while it is still warm because once the jam is cold, it sticks like glue and is hard to remove (I used a plastic picnic knife to ease mine out of my muffin form). And yes, you read correctly, the original recipe does say 5 teaspoons baking powder, and yes it is correct!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
50 g butter (melted, 1   3/4 oz)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
12 teaspoons apricot jam
powdered sugar (to decorate)

Method:

Preheat the oven at 200°C (400°F).

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a baking bowl. Make a hollow in the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs and milk together and add with melted butter into the middle of the dry ingredients mixing just enough to moisten the mixture.

Spoon a largish tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of the muffin form,making certain that it covers the bottom of the muffin form.

Make a small hollow in the middle if the muffin mixture and set a teaspoon of apricot jam into the hollow, try not to let the jam run out to the sides very much.

Cover the apricot jam with another spoonful of the muffin mix and run a clean finger around it so that the jam is as enclosed by the muffin mixture as possible. Don’t overfill your muffin forms.

Bake at 200°C (400°F) for 15 minutes or until cooked. (test with a clean toothpick, it could come out clean)

Ease the muffins out of the form while warm and put onto a wire rack to cool.

Once cool, dust the tops with powdered sugar.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins.  (try hard not to eat all of them before the rest of the family come home LOL).

September 26, 2011

Should “Medicine” to Keep You Regular Ever Taste this Good?

Filed under: FOOD — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another one of my favourite recipes from the ex Recipezaar (now Food.com) website.

I  particularly like this  recipe from “mummamills”  because it’s so ridiculously easy and because a little  of this every so often helps keeps me regular. It tastes brilliant too! If you try it and would like to leave a review too,  just follow the link at the bottom of the page.

Prunes in Port

40 pitted prunes
2 cups port
2 cups red wine
1/2 vanilla bean
1 cup sugar

Soak prunes in the port overnight.

Next morning combine everything and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.Take out vanilla bean. (You can wash it and use it again).Bottle, or store in the fridge.

http://www.food.com/recipe/prunes-in-port-212379

September 19, 2011

Chicken With Cashews… Fast, Easy, Lazy, Perfect!

Filed under: FOOD,Reviews — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Since I haven’t managed to be standing cooking in my kitchen for the last ten months, and am having Foodie withdrawal symptoms, I’ve had to console myself by asking Himself to make some of my favourite recipes for dinner  instead.

This one is by “chef floWer”  from the ex Recipezaar, (now Food.com) cooking website.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Chicken With Cashews

2 chicken breasts, diced
6 tablespoons corn oil or 6 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 cup bamboo shoot, diced
1/2 cup green peppers or 1/2 cup green capsicum, diced
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/4 cup cashew nuts

Marinate

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch or 2 teaspoons cornflour
2 teaspoons oil

In a bowl add soy sauce, water, cornstarch and oil to form the marinade. Mix well until the cornstarch as dissolved.

Add to the marinate chopped chicken breasts, mix well cover and marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.

Heat oil in Wok until hot, add bamboo shoots and green capsicum. Stir-fry for a few minutes.

Remove bamboo shoots and green capsicum with slotted spoon or any spoon which drains the oil back into the wok.

Drain marinate and add chicken to the wok. Quickly toss and turn.

When chicken is cooked or slightly brown add hoisin sauce. Continue to toss.

Return vegetables to work.

Serve over rice and sprinkle the cashew nuts.

I’m a tougher than usual reviewer of recipes and awarded this oe the full possible five stars.

In my review I mentioned that I couldn’t find bamboo shoots and just used red and yellow peppers, but over time I have adapted this recipe and basically through in whatever stir-fryable veggies we have to hand on the day.  The yield is small:  two decent servings for a main meal for two people (mind you we didn’t bother adding rice)

I usually gently saute my cashews in 1 T olive oil, until they are gently toasted and then add some extra during the last minutes of cooking.  I found the peanut oil to be a little excessive, so right from the start I used homemade chicken stock (also in the interests of cutting down fat) and this has always worked well in this recipe.

I love that this is easy, in the past I’ve prepped veggies the evening before and just thrown everything together when we got home the next day for a mega lazy meal that’s ready in minutes.

When you have grumpy hungry  kids begging dinner 3 minutes after they cross the threshold, that make this recipe into a winner.

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