Pineapple Chicken

If once in a while you like a “sweet” meal this is one that you should try out.

The chicken needs to marinate for a few hours in the fridge, so if you want you can either prepare it the night before or just before you go to work. It takes only a few minutes.

This meal serves 3-4 people depending on how hungry your guests/family are.

Ingredients:

4-6 pieces of chicken thighs and drumsticks

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Brown sugar (heaped)

1 tsp Black pepper

1 med to large onion, chopped finely

2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup white wine

1 tin of pineapple chunks, drain only half of the juice/syrup.

Salt and pepper

Method:

1.   Marinate the chicken as follows:

In a large Ziplock bag, add the Olive oil, mustard, sugar and black pepper. Stir it a little as to combine the ingredients.  Now place the chicken into the bag and seal it. Shake the bag a little and massage the ingredients into the chicken. Place the bag in the fridge.

2. Cooking the chicken:

In a medium saucepan (over med to high heat), drizzle a little olive oil and add chopped onions and garlic. Fry until a golden brown.

Add turmeric and paprika and stir while it fries for a minute or so, creating a paste.

Add the chicken pieces and fry the chicken for a few minutes in the paste. Don’t throw the bag out just yet.

Pour a little of the chicken stock into the ziplock bag and swirl it around, so as to save all the seasoning and pour it into the saucepan.

Add the rest of the chicken stock, wine and pineapple with half the juice/syrup.

Cover the saucepan with a lid and cook over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve the chicken with some Basmati rice.

Bon appetit!

Be awesomely blessed!

Cláudia

 

A Pinch of Craziness??

If my desk makes you think "Crazeeeee", then best you not see my laptop screen... You might just call the men in white coats...

Between job searching, I find myself turning to recipes books.  Cooking is one of my favourite hobbies and it also seems to keep me from going completely insane from the stress and boredom of being home.

I’ll find recipes and change them a little (or a lot), try them out and hope that in the process, I don’t kill anyone who dares to try my experiments.

Thankfully, until now, I have not been arrested for any attempts to do bodily harm… 😀

I suppose we all have our own little crazy quirks and “fortunately”, this is mine.

Be awesomely blessed!

Cláudia

 

Berry Best Apple & Pear Pie

I love a good Apple Pie but I had so many different fruits lying around in a bowl and about to be on the verge of chucking out, I decided to take a normal Apple Pie recipe and fruiting it up a little.

So, this is my take on the Apple Pie and I have come up with the ‘Berry Best Apple & Pear Pie’ in the world.

Great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t take a lot of sugar and if you want, you can change it according to which fruits you have at home and need to use up.

So let’s get baking!

We will start with making the Pastry as it needs to chill for about 30mins in the fridge.

Pastry:

2 cups flour

1 cup butter (not at room temp. Straight out the fridge)

1/2 cup icing sugar

2 egg yolks, beaten

little water to bind, about 1 Tbs

Method:

1. Put the flour in a mixing bowl and cut the butter into pieces and drop it into the four. With your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until it is crumbly.

2. Mix in the icing sugar, egg yolks and water.

3. Bring the dough together and knead it for a minute or so and then roll it into a short, fat log of about 10cm/4 inches thick. Wrap it in some plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven at 180 C (350 F).

While the dough chills and the oven heats up, you can start with the filling.

Filling:

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

6 sweet apples

2 pears

1 cup of fresh Raspberries ( You may use frozen berries but defrost before using)

1/2 cup Raisins

1/2 cup butter

Method:

1. In a large bowl, mix flour, both sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

2. Peel, core and slice the apples and pears.

3. Stir the apples, pears, berries and raisins into the flour mix until all are well coated.

4. Set aside while you prepare the pie dish.

5. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it into 1cm (1/2 inch) thick discs. Set 2-3 discs aside to use as the top crust of the pie.

6. Taking each disc and slightly pressing it flat a little, lay the discs in a pie dish, slightly overlaying them around the base and sides of the dish. Discs on the sides, should stick out of the dish about 3 cm (1 inch). Press and nudge closed any gaps on the base with your fingers.

7. Spoon in the fruit mix into the lined pie dish, ensuring it is evenly distributed.

8. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle it over the filling.

9. Fold in the dough from the sides of the pie dish and set the remaining 2 or 3 dough discs on the top of the filling. There should be gaps on the top, so don’t worry if it does not cover the whole pie. This allows for the steam to escape while it bakes and it also gives the pie a lovely homemade look.

10. Bake the pie for 50 minutes.

11. When the pie has finished baking, take it out and allow to cool for about 10 mins, then sprinkle a little icing sugar over the top.

You can eat just as is, which is delicious on its own, or you could serve it with some vanilla ice-cream or some whipped cream.

Bon appetit!

Be awesomely blessed.

Cláudia

Butternut & Shrimps in a Coconut Milk Broth


I found a recipe online that looked nice but I wasn’t quite happy with it and decided to chop and grate… oops I mean… change it a little and this is what I ended up with… An incredibly quick and simple dish that is ready in about 30 minutes and OMG-so-delish!!!

Serves 2. Simply double or triple,depending on how many you wish to cater for.

Ingredients

2 spring onions or 1 small onion chopped

1 large garlic clove finely chopped

olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 tsp salt

1tsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 can coconut milk

1 cup cubed butternut

250g shrimps

2 tsp lemon juice

1 cup Basmati Rice

Method:

1. Start by cooking your rice.This allows you to prepare the Butternut and Shrimp Sauce while the rice cooks.

The trick to perfectly cooked Basmati is:

In a pot, add 2 cups of cold water to 1 cup Basmati rice (which has been rinsed under cold water a few times). Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to boil. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat to low and allow the rice to simmer for about 10mins. Turn heat off, leaving pot on the stove for about 5 mins. Do not take the lid off. The rice should be perfectly cooked now. You will know it’s cooked when there are little air holes in the rice. Using a fork, you can now fluff the rice in the pot.

Do not be tempted to stir the rice while it is cooking!

2. Pour a little Olive oil into a sauce pan and heat it. When oil is hot, add chopped Spring onions and garlic and sauté until soft. Do not brown.

3. Add Chicken stock, brown sugar, salt, tomato paste, black pepper, red pepper flakes and coconut milk to the sautéd onions and garlic. Stir with a whisk for about 1 min.

4. Add Butternut and bring to boil.

5. Reduce heat and simmer for 10mins or until the Butternut is tender.

6. Add shrimps and bring to boil. Allow to cook for 5mins.

7. Add lemon juice, stir and remove from heat.

8. Serve with Basmati rice. Garnish with some chopped spring onions or parsely.

Bon Appetit!!

Be awesomely blessed!

Cláudia

Cheese Cake

Yesterday, I baked my 1st “German” Cheese Cake. Reason I say “German” is because Curd or Quark in German, is used instead of Cottage Cheese as used in most South African recipes. Also one of the ingredients is Vanillezucker (Vanilla sugar), which was not available in South Africa, when I left, maybe it is now, I am not sure. I assume substituting a teaspoon of Vanilla Essence for the Vanilla sugar, should do the trick.

I also made a change in the base of the recipe.  The recipe has a dough base but I made it with a butter biscuit base. Gave it a nice “crunchiness” to it and it also made this a guilt-free pleasure as it has less sugar.  🙂

I will give you both recipes for the base, and you can choose which you prefer.

My version of a "German" Cheese Cake. Yes, it cracked on the top but believe me it tasted awesome.

Ingredients and Method for a Dough base:

300g Flour

175g Margarine (softened)

100g Sugar

2 Egg Yolks

Mix all the ingredients into a short crust pastry.

Cover the base of a 26cm Spring-form pan and set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

Ingredients and Method for a Biscuit base:

500g Butter biscuits crushed finely (I made it with 250g Butter biscuits and 250g Wholewheat biscuits)

250g Butter, melted

Mix the crushed biscuit and butter together and set on the base of a 26cm Spring-form pan.  Use a glass to spread and press the biscuit mixture over the base.

Put the base into the fridge for 20 minutes to harden while you prepare the filling.

Ingredients and Method for Filling:

750g Fat- free Curd

200g Sugar

1 packet Vanilla Sugar Powder / 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence

1 Lemon zest and juice (remove pips from juice)

250ml Sour Cream

5 large Eggs (whites)

60g Flour

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celcius (375 Fahrenheits)

In a medium bowl beat Egg whites with 100g Sugar until stiff.

In a large bowl, mix the Curd, 100g sugar, vanilla sugar or Essence, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour.

Take the stiff egg whites and fold into the Curd mix.

In another bowl, beat the sour cream until it’s creamy and add to the Curd mix, gently mixing it in.

Pour the filling into the Spring-form pan with cooled base.

Bake for 60 minutes.

Take the cake out the oven and allow to cool in the Spring-form for 15 minutes before removing it.

Enjoy and be awesomely blessed!

Cláudia

Quick Walnut Bread

Today I decided to try out a new bread recipe.

It is quick to make as the name says, no need to knead it, so your manicure stays safe and in 1 hour you have freshly baked bread.

It is more of breakfast bread and just incredibly delicious when served with butter and jam, marmalade or honey.

This bread will keep for a couple of days wrapped airtight and apparently it freezes well.

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons walnut oil  (optional)

1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degs Celsius. Move the rack to the center of the oven. Butter or oil a loaf pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk or yogurt, honey and the oils. Quickly whisk in the flour, and fold in the walnuts. Scrape into the bread pan.

3. Bake 45 minutes, until nicely browned and a tester comes out clean. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Then reverse onto a rack and allow to cool.

Enjoy!!

Be awesomely blessed!

Cláudia

Red Velvet Cupcakes

My Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been craving Red Velvet Cupcakes for days now, so I decided to bake some today.

It definitely killed the craving and so worth all the calories that set up home on my already comfy hips. 🙂

So, I thought of sharing this recipe with you. It’s delicious and so worth  making…

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food colouring
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 170degrees C. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food colouring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting. Decorate as you wish after frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Be awesomely blessed!

Cláudia