red pork curry

I love and enjoy a good, strong curry and since I had pork neck steak in my freezer, I gave a delicious shop bought red curry paste a go for this dish.
Rich in flavour with very tender cubes of meat, this a simple recipe and one I will definitely be returning to. Very, very soon.
I served couscous, natural yogurt and lots of fresh coriander as sides to the curry. Delicious alternatives are noodles, pineapple or mango salsa or sticky rice.

Fragrantly delicious, this easy one pot meal brought back fond memories of Thailand holidays.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
900g pork neck, cubed
1 white onion, fine dice
1/4C white wine
4 garlic cloves, diced
2T red curry paste
2t grated ginger
1T fish sauce
1T brown sugar
1 can (400g) crushed tomato
200ml chicken/vegetable stock
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 can coconut milk
salt to taste
good grind of black pepper
200g baby corn, halved diagonally
handful fresh coriander (cilantro), for garnish
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally, for garnish
2T olive oil, for browning meat + 2T extra
knob of butter

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown the meat in batches until browned on all sides. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and knob of butter without wiping the pot clean.
Sauté the onion and garlic until glossy, taking care not to burn the onion. Deglaze the pot with the white wine and reduce completely while scraping the bits of the bottom of the pot.
Add the curry paste, ginger and brown sugar, stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the crushed tomato, fish sauce, vegetable stock & lemon juice, stir and bring to a light boil. Carefully tip the cubed pork back into the pot, stir and bring to a simmer.
Pour half of the coconut milk into the pot, cover with a lid but leave a small gap, and gently simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
Pour the remaining half of the coconut milk into the pot, add the lemon zest and baby corn and cook for a further 20 minutes, uncovered until the meat is beautifully tender.
Taste and season with salt & pepper.

Garnish with coriander and spring onion.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

traditional south-african ‘bobotie’

Traditionally South-African and undoubtedly a favourite in just about any home in South-Africa, bobotie consists of curried / spiced minced meat, topped with an egg custard and baked.
Some bobotie recipes have been passed down many generations and are kept secret in most families.
There are so many recipe variations of which most contain raisins or sultanas. I, however, prefer it with grated apple or pear. (Dried peaches or apricots are also used as an alternative.)
Most bobotie recipes use milk soaked bread to add extra moisture to the dish and is traditionally served with yellow rice, which is rice cooked with turmeric.
This dish is not particularly spicy and incorporates a variety of flavours thus adding complexity.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1kg minced meat
3T olive oil
2T butter
2 medium onions, sliced
1T crushed garlic
1/2C dried bread crumbs
1/2C beef broth
1/5T mild curry powder
1t turmeric
1t ground cumin
1t ground coriander
1.5t dried thyme & oregano mix
2 red apples, cored & grated
1/4C chutney (Mrs. Balls)
3T apricot jam
2T worcester sauce
2 medium carrots, grated
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1/2C flaked almonds
1t fine salt
1t black pepper

for the egg custard
3 large eggs
5 bay leaves
1/2c (125ml) cream
1/2c (125ml) milk
1/3c flaked almonds

how to do it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Heat the olive oil & butter in a large ovenproof skillet. Sauté the onion until glossy. Add the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, thyme & oregano to the skillet and cook for about one minute until fragrant. Add the minced meat to the pan and cook until browned. Add the carrots & grated apple and cook for 5 minutes.
Mix the chutney, Worcester sauce, lemon juice & zest and apricot jam together and add it to the mince mixture. Stir to combine, cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, on a gentle simmer.
Remove the lid.
Pour the half cup of beef broth into the mixture, stir and then add the bread crumbs. Stir to combine and cook for two minutes. Remove from the heat.
Season with salt & black pepper and stir.
Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture down to even it out.
Make the egg custard by whisking the eggs, milk & cream together. Gently pour the custard onto the mince mixture, over the back of a spoon. Place the bay leaves in the centre or where you prefer and add the flaked almonds.
Gently place the skillet into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden and the custard have set.
Remove from the oven, rest for five minutes and serve with yellow rice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

meatballs in curry cream

Mince is just one of those ingredients that i always have in my freezer as there are so many wonderful dishes i can cook using it.
Good, easy and quick food is really what I am after most days. Not because i don’t have enough time or because I am lazy but merely because I also want to spend quality time with my family.
I served this dish with basmati rice although mash will also make a wonderful accompaniment to soak up all the wonderful, flavourful juices.
And if you prefer a mixture of beef and pork mince, you are welcome to make that change. I, however, only had beef mince on hand.
You might think the meatballs are fairly plain, considering what i added to the meat, but it works really well as the sauce is wonderfully fragrant.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
500g mince meat
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1tsp minced garlic
1/2c fine breadcrumbs
1 egg
1tsp salt
black pepper

place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. using your hands, roll balls almost the size of a golf ball. set aside on a baking tray covered with baking paper.

curry cream sauce
2tbs Olive oil
good knob of butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2cm ginger, grated
2tsp mild curry powder
2tsp turmeric
1tbs brown sugar
2tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp onion seeds
1/2tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 can chopped tomato
1 can coconut milk
bunch fresh cilantro
spring onion, sliced at an angle
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Heat about 4 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and brown the meatballs on all sides. Set aside.
Blitz the canned tomato until smooth. Set aside. In the same skillet, heat the olive oil and butter. Saute the onion until glossy. Add the ginger, curry powder, turmeric, sugar, & onion seeds and cook for about a minute. Add the chopped tomato and fish sauce, stir it through and cook for one minute. Season with salt & pepper. Add the chilli flakes now, if using.
Slowly pour the coconut milk into the skillet and bring the mixture to a light boil. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and add the meatballs. Cover with a lid and cook on low for about ten minutes, turning the meatballs once.
Remove the lid and cook for a further ten to fifteen minutes until the sauce has thickened and reduced, turning the meatballs halfway through cooking.
Roughly chop the cilantro and add it to the dish. Garnish with sliced spring onion.
Serve with basmati rice of mashed potato and a side dish of roasted pumpkin or sweet potato.

chicken fried rice

this is just such an amazing, flavourful dish that brings back fond travelling memories. fried rice certainly is a big favourite of mine. the marriage of chicken, rice and spices, the fresh herbs, the chilli and paprika zing…a well rounded, great tasting dish! there are so many varieties of fried rice that you can make. it really depends on your personal taste. turmeric adds wonderful colour to the chicken and the paprika lends beautiful earthy notes. the almonds add a lovely crunch and the tomatoes a little bit of acidity / sourness.
i prefer using jasmine or basmati rice and i do like the addition of egg here. (this is, however, optional)
i used veggies i had on hand, making this an excellent dish to use up some of those ‘forgotten’ vegetables tucked away in the bottom drawer of your fridge. i do however feel that carrots are an essential part of this dish.
making use of freezer bags to marinade my meat is one of my big loves as it really simplifies things and leaves me with less dishes to clean up. since there are only so many hours in a day i don’t like complicating things.

2c rice, cooked according to packet instructions
3tbs butter
2 eggs, whisked
1/2tsp salt
pinch of pepper

once the rice is cooked, heat the butter in a medium sized pan. add the rice and toss for one minute. add the salt, pepper and whisked eggs and toss / gently stir until the eggs are cooked. set aside.

3 chicken breasts, blocks
2tsp paprika (not smoked)
1t turmeric
1tbs crushed garlic
1t lemon juice
1/3c soya sauce
1t curry powder
1/2tsp chilli flakes (optional)

place all the ingredients in a ziploc or freezer bag. shake to coat. place in the fridge for an hour.
heat olive oil & butter in a pan. (medium heat). add the chicken and fry until cooked and fragrant. about 12 minutes. set aside.

sauce base and vegetables
2tbs olive oil
3tbs butter
1 onion, chopped
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, grated
160g cauliflower florets
160g mushrooms, sliced
150g baby marrow / courgette, sliced
1 small red pepper, sliced
2 small leeks, sliced
8 rosa / cocktail tomatoes, sliced
1c chicken stock
salt to taste
pinch black pepper

in a large pan or wok, heat olive oil and butter. sauté onion until translucent. add thyme and toss until fragrant. add the remaining ingredients except the stock and toss for about 4 minutes. add the stock, bring down to a gentle simmer and cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened and the vegetables are cooked. add sliced tomatoes and cook for two more minutes.

2 spring onions, sliced
handful cilantro / coriander
1/2c slivered almonds, toasted

to assemble
add the chicken to the rice and mix through.
on medium heat, add the vegetable mixture to the rice and chicken and stir while heating for about 5 minutes.
garnish the dish with toasted almonds, cilantro & spring onion.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x

Chicken & pumpkin curry

I love curry. Any kind of curry. Dry curry. Creamy curry. Hot or mild curry. And I really love making curry. I think the secret behind a really good curry is making your own curry paste. It amazingly just tastes better knowing you made it yourself!
Again, there are so many other dishes that you can make with some leftover curry such as a creamy curry pasta with fresh basil & coriander leaves, topped with sour cream. Or individual curry pies that you can serve with salad as a light lunch alternative. Serve some sambals with your curry like sliced banana, chutney, toasted almond flakes or toasted coconut flakes.
The curry paste will last well in the fridge for up to 7 days, stored in an air tight container.

Ingredients (Serves 6)
For the curry paste
2 Shallot onions
3 Garlic cloves
1 Small tomato
2 Tbs Tomato paste
70g Ginger, skin removed
2 Small green chillies
1 Small birds eye chilli
1 Tsp Masala
1 Teaspoon Fenugreek (whole)
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tsp Ground cumin
1 Tsp Ground coriander
5 Whole cardamom
2 Star anise
1/2 Tsp salt
3 Tbs Olive oil
For the curry
3 Tbs Olive oil
3 Chicken breasts, cut into blocks
1 Small pumpkin, peeled and cut into small blocks
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh coriander leaves
2 Tbs Brown sugar
1/2 Tsp salt
300ml Coconut cream
1 C Natural yogurt

How to do it
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Once hot, place the pumpkin, drizzled with a little olive oil, in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine all of the paste ingredients except the olive oil. Blend well for about 3 minutes, add the oil and blend for a further 2 minutes. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on all sides. Add the pumpkin to the chicken and stir through. Add half of the curry paste to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes. Pour 3/4 cup of cold water into the curry and simmer on low heat for ten – 15 minutes until evaporated.
Add the coconut cream, sugar and salt and keep simmering on low heat for a further 5 minutes. Tear in the basil leaves, stir through and turn off the heat.

Serve with basmati rice and top with 2 tablespoons natural yogurt and fresh coriander leaves.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x