Roasted Duck in Orange and Orange Liqueur Sauce.

Duck in Orange and Van Der Hum Sauce

Duck in Orange and Orange Liqueur Sauce

I adore traditional Sunday food!   I feel deliriously happy when I have something roasting in the oven on Sunday morning, plotting what I would fix for dessert to create the perfect Sunday lunch.  This Sunday was no different, only this time I swapped the traditional roast chicken for duck.

It is not every day that fresh free range duck is available in South Africa, so I jumped at the opportunity to take this guy home when I found it at one of our local food stores.  Duck is one of my favorite meals to order when I get the chance at a restaurant.  I am happy to report to my dear readers that the not so skinny cook would be very satisfied and most happy to eat the above recipe at  any restaurant.  As my five-year old son, who watches a lot of cooking shows with his mother, would say (in his best Afrikaans accent): delicious!

Duck in Orange and Van Der Hum Sauce

Duck in Orange and Orange Liqueur Sauce

Now this duck is firstly roasted, cut into pieces and then gently cooked in an orange flavored sauce, creating a crispy duck in intense orange flavors.   I decided to serve the roast duck with whole roasted baby potatoes, sweet baby carrots, and minted peas.   This Sunday roast was the perfect beginning to a new week with further promises of sun and spring.

Duck in Orange and Van Der Hum Sauce

Duck in Orange and Orange Liqueur Sauce

This mouth-watering dish will serve 4 persons.  Preparation time about 1/2 an hour.  Cooking time about 41/4 hours.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1   2kg duck
  • 10 ml ginger powder
  • salt and black cracked pepper
  • 1 orange cut into quarters
  • 1 onion cut into quarters
  • 180 ml Orange Liqueur
  • 1 cup of unsweetened orange juice
  • 2 cups of  good quality vegetable stock
  • 1/2 orange cut into julienne strips
  • 2 Tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Method:

  1. Rinse the duck with water and remove all unwanted fat around the neck , tail and the cavity of the duck.
  2. Rub the duck all over with ginger, salt and pepper.

3. Place all the orange quarters as well as the onion inside of the body cavity.

4. Prick with a fork all over to allow the fats to cook out.

5.  Roast in a pre-heated oven  of 220º C for half an hour on a roasting rack in your pan  and remove from oven.

6.  Drain all fats from the pan and add about 2 cups of water to the pan, prick all over once more and lower the heat of the oven to 180º C.   Pour  a 1/4  of a cup of orange liqueur over the duck before replacing in the oven.  Proceed to roast for another hour.

7. Remove from the oven and turn the duck on it’s back to ensure even roasting.  Prick for a third time and pour another 1/4 cup of orange liqueur over.  Return to the oven for about another hour.  Do a prick test between the thighs and the legs to check if the juices run clear, which is an indication that the duck has been cooked through.  Remove from the oven and place aside while you prepare the sauce.

Orange Sauce.

  1.  In a sauce pan bring the veggie stock, orange juice and orange peel to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

2.  Make a paste by adding the remaining orange liqueur and soy sauce to the cornstarch and then add this paste to the cooking orange mixture.  Cook until thick and season further if required.

Final Preparations:

Cut the duck into neat pieces and place in a roasting dish.  Pour the orange sauce over and bake in a pre-heated oven of 160º C.

Enjoy with your favourite glass of fruity white wine and company for a Sunday lunch.

This recipe was adapted from Lynn Bedford Hall’s Keur uit die kookkuns in Suid-Afrika ISBN 186872 520 0  which you can order for further reference from Kalahari.

Roasted Vegetables under Phyllo Pastry

Roast veg under Filo

Roast veg under phyllo

 My dearest baby sister is currently dating a very descent guy.  So what on earth would this have to do with the not so skinny cook I hear you say.  Well naturally one doesn’t want to look like a complete hill billy when being introduced to who might be your new brother-in-law.  So I invited the lovely couple over for a Sunday lunch.  Although I made all sorts of traditional Sunday foods like roast chicken and potatoes I also included this as a side dish….  I am however quite sure that this would also suffice as a light lunch when served with a green salad.

Roast veg under Filo

Roast veg under Phyllo

The roses are made by shaping sheets of phyllo into roses , don’t worry it is much easier than it looks and will impress your guests endlessly.  Phyllo is quite easy to work with as long as it is brought to room temperature beforehand.  I used olive oil in a spray bottle between the sheets of phyllo thus creating a more healthy version, lower in fat and calories, than when you use butter.  The phyllo was still delish and beautifully brown, and no-one missed the butter.

oast veg under phyllo

Roast veg under Phyllo

This can be prepared a day in advanced, just don’t bake once the phyllo roses has been placed on.  Place into your refrigerator and cover loosely with foil to prevent drying out and spoiling.  Bake 1/2 an hour before lunch in a pre-heated oven of 180° c.

Roast veg under Phyllo

Roast veg under Phyllo

So here is how you go about to create this showstopper:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of frozen phyllo pastry (defrosted and brought to room temperature)
  • 500g butternut cubed
  • 2 red onions peeled and shopped roughly
  • 1 red pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 small bunch of spinach remove the large stems and chop
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/3 cup of pine kernels toasted in a pan for about 2 minutes until brown
  • one small roll of goat’s cheese (optional) cut into small chunks
  • Vegetable spice of choice  (I use Ina Paarman’s Vegetable Spices)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 220° c
  2. Place all the veg (excluding the spinach) on a roasting tray and toss together with about 3 Tbsps of olive oil,  sprinkle with the vegetable spice, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roast in the pre-heated oven until all veg are soft and caramelized. (About 40 minutes)
  4. In the mean time heat 2 Tbsps of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic.  Add one-third of the spinach and stir while cooking.  When the spinach has wilted remove and place aside.  Add more spinach and repeat the process until all the spinach has been wilted.
  5. To assemble the dish place the roasted vegetables in a rectangular oven dish, mix the pine kernels through, add the goat’s cheese and stir through gently.  Place the spinach in a layer on top.
  6. Remove the phyllo sheets from the packaging and place a wet, clean tea towel over the remaining pastry.
  7. Separate the sheets placing one sheet on a clean working surface.  Brush or spray with a thin layer of  olive oil.  Place onto the baking tray and trim off at the sides to fit snugly into the dish.  Repeat with at least 4 layers of phyllo.
Folding a phyllo rose

Folding a phyllo rose

8. To fold a phyllo rose: Take both hands and pull phyllo up in the centre to make a fold.

Folding a phyllo rose

Folding a phyllo rose

9. Twist the phyllo around this fold and form a rose.  Place roses on top of the phyllo layer to fit snugly.

Phyllo roses

Phyllo roses

10.  Finally,  bake at 180° c until the phyllo is crispy and brown.  Serve immediately.

Wild Mushroom Risotto and a Reward for the Notsoskinnycook

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto

I am happy to report to all my dear readers that I am still on holiday getting well rested and also eating very well.  I am also very happy and proud to announce that I have been awarded the Versatile Blogger award by Jennifer who writes a beautiful blog called the Foodery.  Thank you very much Jennifer.  Yay!!!

Here are the rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:

Thank the award giver(s) and link back to them in your post

– Share 7 things about yourself

– Pass this award along to 15 or 20 bloggers you read and admire

– Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award
Now one of the rules for receiving this award states that you need to share seven things about yourself…. I must admit I am not all that interesting but I will give it my best shot:

  1. I am a Christian that loves God very much and believes that everything I am and have in my life is through His grace alone.
  2. I have a kitchen gadget fetish…I can spend hours in the kitchen department of stores, checking out different kitchen tools 🙂
  3. Besides cooking and blogging I am also a potter-er who loves to create beautiful  ceramics.
  4. I not only love to read cooking books but also devour novels by the stacks
  5. I have been married to my dear husband for ten years now and not a day goes by without me thinking how lucky I am.
  6. My favorite meal is definitely a  bowl of freshly made pasta, finished by a hot chocolate pudding.
  7. I love a good glass of red wine

I would also like to nominate the following fellow bloggers for this award:

Heidi who writes a blog called Lightly Crunchy

Heidi and her family lives on a beautiful farm and is really encouraging us to live a simpler life, being more self-efficient by creating a lot of our products that we use every day ourselves.  She has a great sense of humor and spoils her readers with beautiful photos of her creations and family.

My second nomination goes to Anastasia, the writer of a blog called While Chasing Kids

This is a photo of her Cherry Galette.  Now does this not just look delectable?  Do yourself a favor and drop by for her mouth-watering dishes and oh- so- gorgeous photos.

Lastly you have to go and peek in at Shari’s My fancy Pantry

Pan Seared Scallops With Sweet Pea, Tarragon and Lemon Risotto

Shari will awe you with all her unique ingredients, recipes and photos, so please visit her beautiful blog.

So dear readers expand your horizons and go and visit these girls….  oh yes, and cook this Wild mushroom Risotto!

When I saw Rachel Allen do a version of this recipe last night on the homechannel  I simply knew I had to make this.  I was even lucky enough to find fresh wild mushrooms at our local supermarket this morning.

I have to admit that I have never cooked risotto myself before, so this was a first for me.  Don’t fear all first- time- risotto- cookers it is really easy!  Hubby took a few photos so you will be able to do this all by yourself at home!  You will be rewarded with a creamy comforting risotto full of buttery flavor.  Absolutely, definitely worth the effort!

You will need:

  • 1.5 l of chicken stock
  • 200g fresh wild mushrooms sliced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • 3 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 500g Arborio Rice
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper freshly ground

Here is how to:

  1. Bring the stock to a boil
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan and sweat the onions with some salt until soft.  Add in the mushroom and cook until soft.
Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto: Add in the risotto and stir through.

3. Add the risotto rice and stir for one minute.  Add the cup of wine .

4. Add the stock, about 200 ml at a time, and stir in allowing the rice to absorb it, continue adding it in like this until all the  stock has been stirred in and absorbed.  This will take about 40 minutes.  If you run out of stock just add a little boiled water until the rice is cooked through.

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

5. When the rice has been cooked through it will have a beautiful creamy consistency and it will be soft.  Taste after about 35 minutes to make determine whether it has been cooked through.  Adjust the taste with salt and pepper to taste.  Lastly add the  parmesan cheese and stir through.

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

6.  Remove from heat and enjoy with your favorite glass of wine.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Easy Cuppa Pudding for Vacations

Easy cuppa pudding

Easy cuppa pudding

Well, as most of my dear readers will know by now we are currently on those few rare, but very precious, days of the year namely vacation.   I really find that these times just bind our family spontaneously together.  As I am typing away I’m listening to my beautiful kids laugh and giggle at their dad kicking a rugby ball.  A child’s laughter must be one of the most enjoyable sounds on all the earth.  There are times when I wish I could capture the sounds thereof with all the joy and carefreeness for years to come when they will grow into adults and have to weather the world.  Oh!  If I could just teach them to always laugh like a five year old.  The sky seems to be limitless and there is nothing that can’t be fixed by dad and a cable-tie and the best cure for falling down and hurting yourself seems to be one of mom’s cookies.

My daughter and I have also been spending some time together yesterday.  We made these very easy, very sweet but delicious puddings:

Easy cuppa pudding

Easy cuppa pudding

These guys are really easy to make as they require very little baking utensils.  This could therefore be whipped up in the simplest of kitchens even by little hands.  I found the recipe in one of my favorite foodie magazines Sarie Kos June/July 2012 edition and we adapted it ever so slightly.  They tasted great out of the oven with a sweet apricot flavor and a sauce that caramelized on top.

Cuppa Pudding

Cuppa Pudding

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of cake flour
  • 1 t of baking powder (the original recipe called for 11/2 t  Bicarbonate of soda which is dissolved in the milk)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 free range eggs whisked
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° c
  2. Butter 4 enamel cups
  3. Mix the flour and baking powder
  4. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and mix in the milk and the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Spoon into the enamel cups and place on a baking tray.  Bake for 45 minutes
  7. When in doubt if the puddings has been baked through do a skewer test

Sauce:

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg whisked

Mix all of the above and pour over the puddings when they are done baking.  Place back into the oven and bake for another 20 minutes untill the sauce has thickened and caramelized.  Serve piping hot.      

Cuppa Pudding

Cuppa Pudding

 

Easy cuppa pudding

Easy cuppa pudding

 

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

Orange Cake For A Dreary Winter’s Day

Orange Cake

Orange Cake

The weather has been horrifically cold this weekend and I find myself longing for summer days with hot weather and a long glass of icy orange juice beside our pool.  Don’t get  me wrong, winter certainly has it’s perks as well, as I am writing this I am sitting in front of the fireplace with a cup of my favourite tea.  The kids are playing around me and hubby, who’s reading, and our pooches are snoring away in front of the blissful heat all while the wind is howling around the corners…  I have some soup going in the slow cooker and I am counting my many blessings.  Happiness!  Another  beauty of the cold season is that it brings it’s own fresh produce including citrus fruits.  I have been fortunate this season to have some oranges (not much, just 4) on my little orange tree that I keep in a pot close to my back door.  What better way to use these pretty orange jewels than to place them in an orange cake?  Instant comfort I’m telling you!

My own home grown oranges

My own home grown oranges

The great thing about this cake is that the longer it sits on your kitchen shelf the more flavor it develops.  Not that cake ever tends to just stay on the shelf in my house… no matter, it is delish all the time, from the point where it is taken out of the oven up to where the very last crumb is eaten…

My own home grown oranges

My own home grown oranges

Not being too sweet and extremely moist this is sure to light up your dullest winter’s day!  This will also work very well as a warm winter dessert, heated up with custard and some cream.  I added some zest for decoration to zoosh it up a bit.  Make sure that you use a plate with a rim to keep all of the sweet, orangy syrup where you want it:  Close to the sponge that will eventually slurp it all up, locking in all the moist flavor of the cake.

Orange Cake

Orange Cake

I found this nifty recipe here as I did not have a recipe as a starting point.  It was definitely not disappointed.   This recipe makes one ring sized orange cake.  Here is how I went about:

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Orange cake:

  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 free range extra large eggs, separated (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sour cream (room temperature)
  • 1 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t bicarbonate of soda
  •  zest of one orange
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180° C
  2. Grease a ring pan well
  3. Beat the sugar and butter with an electric beater until fluffy and it turns pale yellow (I usually do this for 15 minutes to ensure that it turns fluffy)
  4. Add the sour cream and the egg yolks and continue beating until light
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the orange rind
  6. Add to the butter mixture and beat until just combined
  7. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold into the batter
  8. Place the mixture into ring pan and bake for an hour
  9. Remove from heat and let it cool down for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan and placing it on a rimmed plate to reserve the syrup
  10. Pour the syrup over (see below)
Orange juice

Orange juice

Hot Orange syrup
  • freshly squeezed juice of 2 oranges
  • freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes

Pierce a few holes in the cake with a fork and slowly pour the orange syrup over the cake drenching it in the syrup.

Slice of Orange Cake

Slice of Orange Cake

If your family is like mine it will probably not see the next morning to have the first golden, sweet, orangey slice taken from it, which is okay, no harm done, it is delectable freshly baked out of the oven as well.

Enjoy!

0ranges

0ranges

Beef Shawarma with Peanut-Butter-Hummus

Beef Shawarma

Beef Shawarma

After the whole Monday buzz I am usually not in the mood to spend a lot of time in the kitchen to produce a tasty dinner.  This Monday was no exception.  After having to do an extra trip to the dentist today for my seven-year old daughter I was só not in the mood for cooking and barely  had anything planned.  Luckily I had some unfrozen steak at hand and as I was craving a good shawarma  for quite some time now, I decided to put it to good use!  Yes,  I know about meatless Monday and all that, but spare a thought for the mom who just did not have enough time to go all out on the vegetarian meal!

Beef Shawarma

Beef Shawarma

Anyhow, I am not having one ounce of regret as this was really super tasty!  I made my own hummus but substituted the tahini with some peanut butter(yes, that is what I had in my pantry at five this afternoon) and it was absolutely delicious! It is the first time I got my children to eat hummus! I think it is because the peanut butter tends to lend a much less intense flavor than the tahini! It is really creamy and smooth with a mild garlicky flavor.  I also used some lemon infused olive oil which added more lemony undertones to the hummus.   Furthermore, I made up my own Moroccan spice mix to flavor the meat, which I had quite a bit left of so placed it in a glass jar for later use.  I have recently discovered that if you roast cumin seeds till they are smokey and then grind them down with a mortar and pestle they reward you with the loveliest nutty aroma!  You can of course just use already ground cumin but I promise it is worth the trouble to roast them first! Also do serve with some tzatziki.  All the flavors blend to a lovely harmony.

Hummus

Hummus

Anyhow I really whipped this up in less than three quarter’s of an hour!   This served 2 adults and 2 kids.

Recipe:

You will need: 

  • 4-5 pita breads
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
  • some chopped lettuce
  • 1/2 avo chopped
  • 4 Tbsps sprouts

Hummus:

  • 1 can of chic peas
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 3 big Tbsps peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsps lemon infused olive oil
  • 1/2 small lemon juice squeezed
  • 1 good pinch of salt (I used a chilly and garlic flavored salt)
  • 3 Tbsps Greek yogurt
  • 2 t of cumin seeds (roast them by placing them in a pan and heating  the pan until the seeds get smokey and have a nutty flavor,  then remove them and place them in a heavy mortar and pestle and grind fine)
  1. Place all of the above in a food processor and process until smooth
Steak:
  1. 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  2. 2 t cumin seeds (roasted as above)
  3. 1 t turmeric powder
  4. 1/2 t paprika
  5. 1/2 t  flavored salt 
  6. 1 Tbsp of lemon infused olive oil
  7. 600g thinly cut steak strips
Mix all the spices and salt together in a mortar and pestle by grinding them down.  Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and season meat according to taste, (don’t over season) and fry until the meat strips are brown and cooked through.  Remove from heat
Tzatziki:
  • 1  good hand full of chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients together
To Compile:
Heat pita bread for 30 seconds each in the microwave and gently cut open at top.  (I usually drip a drop of water in a plastic sandwich bag and place the bread in so that it would not dry out while microwaving it in the bag.)  Fill with all of the above by first smearing the pita with the hummus, spooning in the veg, meat and tzatziki.
Enjoy!
Beef Shawarma

Beef Shawarma


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