Category Archives: Laid Back Food

Fritata for a lazy summer brunch….

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I have recently discovered that Fritata is a great way to use up all that left overs that tend to sit in your refrigerator.  I had my in-laws over for dinner a few nights ago and made some pork fillet for them.  Although everyone enjoyed it thoroughly some of it ended up in the fridge.  So yesterday morning we slept in and when we finally got up, I was in the mood for a lazy Sunday morning  brunch. Without too much ado I whipped up this Fritata for us.  The sweet corn bread was also made for the dinner and went well  the second time around with the Fritata’s savouriness.

Fritata and Corn Bread

Fritata and Corn Bread

I sort off just went through the fridge to see what was available and just worked from there.  The great thing about Fritata is that nothing is set in stone and anything you like goes (well…. that’s in my opinion)

Fritata and Corn Bread

Fritata and Corn Bread

This golden lovely will be on the table within 20 minutes and will provide enough for at least 6 portions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 small onion(chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 small yellow sweet pepper cut into Julienne strips
  • 1 cup of left over meat (I used pork fillet)
  • 1 small potato(boiled and peeled)
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 6-7 eggs
  • 50 ml of fresh milk
  • a big fist full of parsley (chopped)
  • 1t Italian dried herbs
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to season.

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 °.
  2. Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic and yellow pepper until soft and translucent in a large frying pan.
  3. Add the potato and cherry tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk the eggs and milk and add the parsley, herbs, salt and pepper.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until most of the egg has set in the pan.
  6. Place the pan in the preheated oven for at least another 5 minutes.  Remove when all of the egg has been cooked.
  7. Serve with your favourite bread or toast.
Fritata

Fritata

Rustic One Pan Chicken Roast

One Pan Chicken

One Pan Chicken Roast

As I am sitting here I am happy to announce that we have been blessed with a holiday at one of the most beautiful parts of South-Africa, Kwazulu, Natal.  It has been quite cool in the rest of our otherwise sunny country, but fortunately we have not felt too much of the cold snap here at the South-coast.  Lucky us!  Since we have arrived yesterday morning we have only seen blue skies and sunshine resulting in some swimming and picnicking on the beach.

This is the life!

This is the life!

Our evenings have been slightly cooler and therefore I have felt the need for my warm pajamas and some comfort food.  I have to admit that I  have been in a serious holiday mood since arriving and did not feel like slaving away in the kitchen.  So this afternoon I decided to make a simple but delicious roast for us.  The great taste lies in the plain but good quality ingredients.  Also, I decided to not make too much of a to do, and kept the veggies chunky, not peeling the butternut but roasting it with the peel which added to the rustic feel of the dish.  The good old garlic also got to keep its skin on, roasting sweet and soft, perfect to spread on a chunky piece if ciabatta.  Because this is roasted at a high temperature the skin of the chicken becomes crispy enveloping the hot steamy flesh! Yum!

One Pan Chicken Roast

One Pan Chicken Roast

I am also not just the not so skinny cook , I am also the little bit of lazy, hasty cook and this dish will be done in less than 45 minutes!  Just enough time to go and take a stroll down the beach and work up an appetite or if you are not on holiday it will be enough time to bathe the kids and set the table…

Well then  Bon Appetit….

This will feed your family of 4 and maybe leave you with some left overs for a sandwich.

One Pan Chicken Roast

One Pan Chicken Roast

Ingredients:

  • About 1kg chicken pieces
  • 1/2 butternut chopped chunky and lengthwise (leave the peal on)
  • 1 sweet red pepper cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 onion chopped into chunky pieces
  • 6 large garlic cloves (resist the urge to peel!)
  • few sprigs of thyme, and origanum
  • 1/4 cup lemon infused olive oil (unflavored, extra virgin oil of good quality will also do just fine)
  • freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat your oven to 220º C

Place all of the above ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together.  Transfer to a roasting pan and season with freshly ground salt and pepper.  Roast for about 40 minutes until the chicken is golden, the skin is crispy and veggies has caramelized.  Serve with a rustic ciabatta bread.

One Pan Chicken Roast

One Pan Chicken Roast

Mexican Chili with Tomato Salsa

Mexican Chili

Mexican Chili

I have been getting that feeling for a while now…. it is time to still my need for chili and Mexican food.   Fresh Mexican food, not just tacos that come in a shop-bought-kit with  spices and one or another suspicious sauce… but  homemade with lots of zesty limes,  sweet tomatoes, freshly roasted spices, golden cheddar cheese and of course the fiery red chili… and quite a bit of it for that matter….  Yes please!

Mexican Chili

Mexican Chili

This fiery ensemble is sure to cure any midweek winter blues you may be experiencing.  Although I am a huge summer fan I have to admit that there are some things I cannot wait for every year that comes around with winter:  Sitting in front of our fireplace with a good book and a glass of red wine, drinking hot chocolate out of gigantic mugs, the feeling of our double thick goose down duvet and of course spicy food and curries!  I don’t know about you but I feel cheered up just thinking about this….  Bring on winter!

Mexican Chili

Mexican Chili

I got the idea from Rachel Allen’s food show on Home Channel and sort of just improvised from there… The chili is served with steamed basmati rice mixed with chopped fresh cilantro and a fresh tomato salsa salad that is not to be left out as it compliments the chili perfectly…   I also added a dollop of creme fraîche and guacamole to cool the heat down a bit .  All really yummy…

Tomato Salsa

Tomato Salsa

This serves 3 to 4 persons.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Mexican Chili:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 chilies chopped ( You decide whether or not you want the extra heat by leaving in the seeds)
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 500 g ground beef mince (extra lean)
  • 1 1/2 cans of chopped tomatoes (I froze the other half to use later)
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1/2 lime’s juice squeezed
  • freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can of brown sugar beans (drained)
  • 2 t cumin seeds
Tomato Salsa:
  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 small onion very finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove very finely grated
  • 1/2 lime’s juice squeezed
  • 1 good handful of chopped cilantro
  • freshly ground salt and pepper
  • a splash of olive oil
To serve:
  • 1 cup of basmati rice steamed as per instructions on rice packet
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • freshly chopped coriander

Method:

Mexican Chili:

  1. Heat olive oil in a thick bottomed pot  and fry the onion, garlic, ginger, chili until soft and translucent
  2. Add the coriander and cinnamon and fry for 1 more minute
  3. Add the meat and cook until brown
  4. Now add the chopped tomatoes, sugar and lime juice and bring to a simmer and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the liquids have reduced and the sauce has thickened.  Season with salt and pepper and add the can of sugar beans.
  5. In the mean time while the chili is simmering, heat a small frying pan and add the cumin seeds to toast.  ( No oil is required)  Remove once the seeds change color and are slightly smoking.  Place in a mortar and pestle and grind fine.
  6. Add the toasted cumin seeds to the chili and finish simmering
  7. Once sauce has thickened and reduced, remove from heat.

Tomato Salsa:

Just add all the ingredients together and toss lightly

To Serve:

Mix in some chopped cilantro with the steamed basmati rice.  Place chili on top of rice and top with grated cheddar and dollops of creme fraîche and/or guacamole and chopped fresh chili

Mexican Chili

Tomato salsa

Tomato salsa

Melkkos

Melkkos

Melkkos

The winter has been creeping up on us slowly but surely….  This is one of my favorite winter comforts.  For those of you Non-South Africans that are confused with the title:  “Melkkos” literally translates to milk-food.   Melkkos  (also called Boeber) is a thick milk mixture made with butter rubbed into flour, thin strips of  dough, or even sago.  Cinnamon is an important ingredient that is either added by cooking the mixture with a cinnamon stick and/or cinnamon sugar that are sprinkled over.   I guess most people would say this is more of a dessert…. but every now and then on a relaxed evening I would conjure this up as a light dinner,  much to my children’s delight.

Melkkos

Every time I would make this I would remember my grandma visiting us when I was still young.  Grandma Anna would serve this and we would tease that her Melkkos was good enough to catch a rich widower.  She always blushed when we were teasing her.  Sadly Grandma passed away ten years ago…   Unfortunately I was not lucky enough to obtain her Melkkos recipe as this one like many of her recipes were known of by heart and were therefore never recorded.

Melkkos

Melkkos

To make this hearty light meal that will serve 3 to 4 persons you need to do the following:

Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 4 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup sago
  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsps  plus 1 t corn flour
  • 2 Tbsps custard powder
  • 2 Tbsps cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp  sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 eggs separated
  • cinnamon sugar
Method:
  1. Warm 1 cup of milk in the microwave until warm (not more than two minutes)
  2. Soak sago in this warm milk for 1/2 an hour
  3. Place 3 cups of milk, the vanilla and the butter into a large thick bottomed sauce pan and bring to a boil
  4. Make a paste by mixing the last 1/2 cup  milk with the corn flour, custard powder, cake flour,  sugar and salt
  5. Add the paste to the sago mixture and mix well
  6. Add the sago mixture to the boiling milk and stir continuously until the mixture is thick and cooked
  7. Whisk the yellow of the eggs and mix with a little of the warm sago mixture
  8. Add the eggs to the sauce pan
  9. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the warm milk mixture.  Simmer for one more minute
  10.  Serve with cinnamon sugar sprinkled over
Melkkos

Melkkos

Chocolate and Marshmallow Camp Bananas over the coals

Bananas with Chocolate and Marshmallows

Bananas with Chocolate and Marshmallows

This is one of those recipes that I am not even sure can be called a recipe.  I am not sure where or when I first saw or ate this but it has been part of our barbecue (braai in  my home language, Afrikaans)-repertoire for a very long time now.  I thought that most South-Africans were relatively familiar with this way of making a quick not so fancy pantsy dessert.  Turned out I was wrong!  I wanted to make this, this past long weekend on our trip away to a farm with some of our friends, when more than half indicated that they have never tried bananas with chocolate made on the grill.  Serious gap in their upbringing!  Unfortunately we rained out before being able to make this delicious, oh-so-easy treat on the coals.

Bananas with Chocolate and Marshmallows

Bananas with Chocolate and Marshmallows

In the mean time we fixed this batch over the weekend at home.

bananas with chocolate and marshmallows over the coals

bananas with chocolate and marshmallows over the coals

This is really a no-nonsense dessert that can be whipped up in minutes.  Perfect for that lazy weekend when you don’t want to do anything but kick back and relax!  Because this requires little cooking utensils (just a cutting board and knife) this is also perfect camp-food.   The chocolate and marshmallows melt and ooze together with the warm banana, making this a very simple but tasty,  sweet treat.

melty, oozy, chocolate bananas

melty, oozy, chocolate bananas

This is definitely one the most fiercest critics , my children, approve!

My fiercest  critic approves

My fiercest critic approves

This recipe serves 4 

Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 4 large bananas
  • 100 g slab of milk chocolate or more if you are like me, not going to be able to resist popping a few in your mouth while preparing the bananas
  • 4-6 large marshmallows  sliced  or more …… help yourself!
Method:
  • Make a long slit lengthwise into the banana, careful not to cut all the way through the peel,  and fill with blocks of chocolate and slices of marshmallow (you can also use  small marshmallows, they are just not so readily available in our shops)
  • Place on the grill over warm coals (not too hot) and grill in the peel until all the chocolate has melted, the marshmallow has turned gooey and the banana has cooked through.  You will notice that the peal will have turned black.
  • Turn the banana out of the peal with a fork being careful to resist until it has cooled slightly to prevent burning.
Fluffy Marshmallows

Fluffy Marshmallows

chocolate and marshmallow bananas

chocolate and marshmallow bananas

Cheesy Double Pizza Wraps with Chicken

Cheesy Pizza Wraps

Cheesy Pizza Wraps

This is another one of my quick Sunday evening or Saturday-lunch favorites.  I find the thought of  melty, oozy cheese always extremely comforting, therefore this is just the thing to help me cope  with my Sunday evening blues.   The great thing about this almost quesadilla-like  meal is that you have endless possibilities with fillings.  It thus makes it very easy to  cater for all tastes in your family.  Also, it is a great way to consume  left over chicken or meat from your previous meal.  Waste not, want not. Read the rest of this entry

Fresh Figs, Smoked Chicken and Goat’s Cheese on Ciabatta

Figs and Goat's Cheese on Ciabatta

Fresh Figs,Smoked Chicken and Goat's Cheese on Ciabatta

Hello all you beautiful  readers.   I hope all is well and all have been munching away this Easter.  I myself had a tremendous time in the Eastern Cape!  What a beautiful part of South Africa!  Long white sandy beaches and dunes, and on a clear day I have never seen the seas  nor the skies bluer.  We have even been lucky enough to  spot the dolphins at Jeffrey’s bay’s Dolphin Beach  more than once.    However it is so that even on vacation one has to eat. Not that eating  is ever a chore for yours truly.   So on one of our beautiful late fall afternoons I packed our lunch in a basket and we headed off to the beach for a small picnic. Read the rest of this entry

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