Tag Archives: Dinner

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.

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

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


Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Broccoli soup

Broccoli soup

It has all of a sudden, after a lovely autumn weekend with blue skies and sunshine, turned into cold winter weather.  So out comes our gas heater, wood for the fire-place and hot chocolate as we bid salads goodbye and say hello to soups. Little things are as comforting during the cold months as a bowl of warm soup and a piece of warm home-made bread! A definite favorite of mine  is this  broccoli and cheese  soup.   It is really velvety and rich with delicious flavors leaving you comforted and satisfied.

Broccoli soup

Broccoli soup

This soup is also a real weekday winner as it is very quick to prepare and does not leave you with a lot of washing up! So three cheers for broccoli soup!

Broccoli soup

Broccoli soup

I served this soup with fresh bread and  croutons.  Also add a little cheese for garnish.  Feta will also work well.

This recipe is enough for 2 adults and 2  children.

Ingredients:
  • 500g  fresh broccoli
  • 1  onion chopped (1 cup full)
  • 1 stick of celery chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  a pinch of  freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1 t chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T good quality olive oil
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup fresh thick cream
  • 1 T  butter for decadence  ( no, this is not optional! )
  • 1 1/4 cups of grated mature cheddar cheese
  • a little extra cheese for garnish
Method:
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat together, with the olive oil in a heavy based sauce pan.
  2. Add the onions, celery, garlic and fry until translucent
  3. Add the salt, nutmeg, pepper and thyme and fry another half a minute
  4. Add the three tablespoons of flour and stir well, cook  for about two minutes until it becomes fragrant and thickens
  5. Add the chicken stock   1/2 cup at a time and stir continually while bringing the liquid to a boil.  Reduce the heat and add the broccoli, simmering it for about 10 minutes until tender.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the broccoli and liquid with a stick blender. ( You can also puree it in batches in a food processor)
  7. Return to the heat and add the cream, the extra butter and cheese stirring until the cheese has melted
  8. Remove from the heat and serve in soup bowls with fresh bread and croutons.  Garnish with some more grated cheese

    Broccoli soup

    Broccoli soup

I adapted the above recipe  from Food Network.com.

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 Hake in Beer Batter

We all know that fish is good for us, right?  Right!  What is not so good is  fish in batter, loaded with preservatives and trans-fats, that we buy in our local supermarkets.  As a mom that is trying to improve the quality of my children’s food I am on the lookout for the above mentioned nasties most of the time.  It is however true that my children, like most other children I’m sure, loves a batter of sorts around their hake.  Hey, lets face it: somehow it just seems more exiting to have a golden crusty batter around soft steamy fish.  Yes yes, I know, deep-fried is not the preferred choice of cooking method but every once in a while I break our normal regime of hake grilled with lemon and herbs and splash out! Read the rest of this entry

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