oriental chunky vegetable & pork

I love the sweet, savoury, umami flavours that ingredients like soya, honey and fish sauce add to a dish. Stir fries are easy, flavourful and healthy and right at the top of my list of good, nutritious meals. An old Chinese method of cooking, which is a little time consuming in preparation but only takes minutes of cooking.
It always reminds me of my travels to far away countries with beautiful cultures and cuisine and hot, summer days.

A wok is the best pan for stir-frying because its curved surface distributes the heat more evenly and more food can be fried in less oil. If you don’t have a wok, a sauté pan will make a good substitute.

Serve this dish with rice or noodles and extra homemade chilli paste.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
1 red onion, sliced
5 garlic cloves, sliced
3 carrots, sliced into large sticks
4 zucchini, sliced into large sticks
200g button mushrooms, halved and quartered
1 red pepper, sliced
500g pork loin steak, cubed
1/4C honey
1/2C soya
3T sweet soya
1T fish sauce
1t sesame oil
1/2t red chilli flakes (optional)
2T olive oil & extra for browning meat
2T butter
1T sesame seeds (i used white and black)
1/2C cashew nuts, chopped
1C rosa tomatoes, whole or halved
large bunch fresh coriander, half chopped, half for garnish
handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2t salt
good grind of black pepper

method
In a large wok or pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown the cubed meat all over. Set aside.
In the same pan, without wiping it clean, heat an extra 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter and sauté the red onion for about 2 minutes. Add the vegetables and garlic, toss and cook, while stirring or tossing, for about 8 minutes.
Add the red chilli flakes, tomatoes and the meat, stir to combine and then add the soya, honey, sweet soya, fish sauce & sesame oil. Stir to coat and cook for about 5 minutes, occasionally stirring until meat is cooked through. Season with salt & pepper.
Add the sesame seeds, cashew nuts, parsley & chopped coriander and stir to combine.

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with steamed basmati rice or noodles.




spicy roasted mackerel

A dish that is just absolutely delicious, boasting amazing flavour and taste! A healthy meal that is really as easy to make as it is to eat. A great recipe for busy days and the perfect dish when catering for a crowd on a beautiful sunny day. Great, healthy eating simply cannot get easier than this!
Mackerel is an oily fish and a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which improve endurance, aid recovery and help to maintain healthy, beautiful skin.
Serve these delicious mackerel fillets with salad, buttery green vegetables, crushed potato or couscous and a creamy vinaigrette.

Adapt the recipe to serve more.

ingredients | serves 2 | easy
4-6 mackerel fillets
2t paprika
1t cumin seeds
1/2t cayenne pepper
1t turmeric powder
3 garlic cloves
1t coriander seeds
1 small red chilli (optional)
1/4C olive oil
bunch fresh parsley
salt
black pepper

method
Preheat the oven to 200C/180 with fan.
In a pestle & mortar or electric blender, combine all of the spices, garlic, parsley & olive oil. Blend to a chunky, spreadable paste.
Lie the mackerel fillets skin side down on a clean work surface and spread the spicy mixture over the flesh.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lie the fillets flesh side down onto the paper.
Season the skin with salt & a good grind of black pepper.
Roast for 8-10 minutes until the skin is beautifully crispy and the fish is cooked through.

Serve warm drizzled with a sauce / vinaigrette of your choice.


roast chicken tagliatelle – simple & delicious

This a one of my go-to meals when I am entertaining a few friends for a casual lunch or when I simply feel like being a lazy cook.
There is just not enough hours in a day and although I really love spending time in my kitchen i also really love spending time with my toddler. That said, I may not always have time to prepare an extravagant meal although I still want to eat well.
Delicious on its own or served with a salad, this is one dish you will return to again and again.
Although the oven does the work for you, the roasting of the chicken is what takes the most time here so if you are really pressed for time, why not pop in at your local grocer and buy a ready cooked chicken, which will save you plenty of time and unnecessary stress.

I used tagliatelle in this recipe. Other great pasta options are pappardelle & rigatoni.
Potato gnocchi is a delicious alternative to the pasta.

ingredients | serves 6-8 | easy
to roast the chicken
1 whole chicken
olive oil
salt
pepper

2T olive oil
2T butter
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
3t crushed garlic
400g tagliatelle pasta
200g shitake mushroom, sliced
100g button mushrooms, sliced
1/3C cream, optional
1/2t salt
black pepper
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
two handfuls fresh parsley, torn
fresh parmesan, optional

method
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Rub the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt & pepper.
Place the chicken into the oven and roast for 1 hour thirty minutes. Once cooked, set aside and reserve the cooking juices.

While the chicken is roasting, get on with the pasta.
Add the pasta to salted boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
Heat the olive oil & butter in a large skillet and saute the onion until glossy. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and cook for about eight minutes or until cooked, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme leaves and cream and stir through. Season with salt & pepper.

Drain the pasta and tip it into the mushroom mixture. Toss to coat. Using your hands, tear the chicken into the pasta.
Pour the cooking juices over the pasta & chicken mixture and toss everything together.
Garnish with the parsley and parmesan cheese, if using.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x




mutton & tomato stew

Mutton is meat from older sheep; about three years old. The meat is an intense color of red and quite fatty with a strong, gamey flavor. The fat makes it the perfect cut for this stew giving it big, bold flavor. Exactly what I had in mind.
Very similar to the traditional South-African tomato ‘bredie’ this stew is perfect for a cold, wet winters’ night.
Your freezer is your friend…leftovers are perfect for mutton ragu that you can use for a future pie, to toss through pappardelle or on an open pulled mutton sandwich.

Serve with a side of rice, mashed potato, roasted sweet potato or butternut mash.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1.3kg stewing mutton, bone in
1/2C flour
1/2t salt
1/2t white pepper
3T olive oil plus more for browning meat
1T butter
1 large white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
5 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
3 large carrots, cut into big chunks
2T paprika
3 bay leaves
2T tomato paste
1.5t dried oregano
3 rosemary stalks, leaves only
1.2C red wine
1 can crushed tomato
3C beef stock
2T brown sugar
1t salt
1t black pepper
2T fresh parsley

how to to do it
Mix the flour, salt & white pepper and dredge the meat in the flour mixture and shake excess flour off. Discard any leftover flour. Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the meat in batches, adding more oil as needed.
Set aside.
Add two tablespoons of oil and the butter to the pot without cleaning it and saute the chopped onion until glossy, stirring occasionally. About three minutes.
Add the tomato paste, stir and cook for one minute. Pour the red wine into the pot to de-glaze. Cook for about two minutes to reduce.
Add the paprika, rosemary, garlic & dried oregano and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and stir to coat. Pour the crushed tomato into the pot and add the bay leaves, sugar and seasoning. Stir and cook for two minutes.
Pour the stock into the pot and give it a good stir. Lastly add the meat. Stir everything together and bring it to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low for a gentle simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 2 hours, stirring a few times during cooking. Now add the carrots, place the lid back on the pot and cook for a further 1.5 – two hours.

Check the meat, which should be fall off the bone tender. If you prefer it falling off the bone completely, cook for a further 30 minutes to one hour.
Carefully remove the lid, increase the heat to a moderate simmer and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered to thicken the sauce if desired. Take care not to burn the bottom of the pot by occasionally stirring during cooking.

Once cooked, stir through the chopped fresh parsley and serve with a side of your choice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x



paprika & red wine lamb shank

i love meat and lamb is definitely at the top of my list when it comes to meat love.
Sundays in my home are for family, cooking, eating, drinking wine and repeating this almost until bed time. whether it is a lamb roast, chicken roast, pork belly, shanks or oxtail; meat is certainly always on the menu.
lamb shank is known to be one of the ‘cheaper’ cuts of meat and needs long, slow cooking. the taste and flavour is absolutely worth the wait. i usually start the shanks off on the stove and then stick them in the oven, covered. however, this version was cooked on the stove in my dutch oven and the result…perfectly tender, beautifully aromatic, fall off the bone meat.
leftover meat can be chopped and frozen and used for a lamb pie or served on a bed of herby, spicy couscous. any leftover jus can also be frozen. this makes the most amazing sauce for any meaty pasta dish.

i served the shanks with a buttery, spicy mash and green vegetables. the sauce was served separately.

5-6 lamb shanks
flour for dusting
olive oil
3tbs butter
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
4 leeks, sliced
2tbs tomato paste
1 can chopped tomato
4 stalks thyme
4 stalks rosemary
3tsp paprika (not smoked)
2c red wine
2.5c beef stock
10 dried juniper berries
salt
pepper
2tbs brown sugar
2tsp cornstarch
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh chives, chopped

dust the shanks with flour. heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven and sear the shanks until brown all over. set aside.
in the same pot, add a little more olive oil and butter and cook the onion until translucent. add the carrot, celery, leek, paprika, thyme, juniper berries rosemary & tomato paste & brown sugar and cook for about 3 minutes.
add the red wine and reduce by almost half. pour the beef stock into the pot with the chopped tomato. place the shanks into the sauce. cover with cold water. bring the mixture to the boil. season with salt & pepper.
turn the heat down to a low, gentle simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 1.5 hours, checking every half hour.
if needed, cook the meat for a further 30 minutes.
remove the shanks from the pot and set aside. pour the stock into a blender in batches and blend until smooth. pour through a sieve into a pot. simmer until reduced to about three quarters. mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons water and add it to the sauce, off the heat. place the pot back on the heat and simmer on low, while stirring, until thickened.
season to taste.
place the shanks back into the sauce. garnish with parsley & chives and serve.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x