Rosemary Chicken

Went to the Fishhoek Pick & Pay looking for vegetables, found chicken at R19.99 a kilo. Probably genetically engineered and so full of hormones I’ll start growing breasts, but hey, the price was good.

Made a marinade mix using 3/4 cup olive oil, six teaspoons lemon juice, lots of garlic, two teaspoons mustard powder, half a handful of fresh rosemary and a couple of grinds of black pepper. Marinaded the chicken in this for a day or so, then put the chicken and sauce in a corningware dish, added a handful of cherry tomatoes, and stuck it in the oven at 180 for an hour or so.

Very good.

Cholesterol Quiche

This is the kind of thing I get up to when I’m home alone.


I had some leftover puff pastry, lots of eggs, and a tub of cream a week past its expiry date but! still good!

Started with half a kilo of spicy sausage, skinned, fried, with a coarsely chopped onion. Added to this some tomato, spices, and about half a cup of three chili chutney. While this is cooling down, blind bake the crust. Beat four eggs, add cream, mix with meat. Cheese. Don’t forget the cheese. Pour into crust.

Some people sprinkle flour on the crust before pouring the sauce in. It’s supposed to keep the crust dry or something. I did. Worked for me.

Bake until it looks OK (180 for 20 minutes worked for me).


Almost perfect (It needs bacon. With bacon, it would have been perfect. Everything’s perfect with bacon :-)

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

I mentioned the worm farm before. Turns out, if you feed them bits of tomato, you get a garden full of tomato plants. And that leads to lots and lots of tomatoes :-)


Only one thing to do! Deb’s slow roasted tomatoes!


Halve tomatoes (this takes a helluva long time). Cover with oil and herbs (I did this in a bowl).


Spread on baking sheet.


Roast for three hours at a touch over 100C.


This took care of about two thirds of the tomatoes. Here’s the rest, covered with boiling water…


… and skinned (this, also, is a helluva job). The skins etc goes back to the worms, of course.

I used these to make tomato bredie. Used beef, this time (a 1.1 kg hunk of silverside, cut into cubes), did the flour thing, did the space thing, and eventually did the dumplings thing. No pictures, we were too hungry by then :-)

And by the looks of things, there’s about twice as many tomatoes still on the way…

Chicken-less a la King

… is what happens if you have a vegetarian daughter :-)

A while ago I poached a chicken. Stuck the meat in the freezer. Took it out this morning, figuring it was time.

Started with this recipe. Modified it, as always.

Black pot. Melt some butter, add one chopped green pepper and one punnet of mushrooms, sliced, Wait for it to draw water, add a few shakes flour (’bout a quarter cup, maybe). Add salt and pepper, and about a teaspoon of English mustard powder.

Add 250 ml of cream, stirring all the time. Add a cup of chicken stock (the Ina Paarman stock powder is vegetarian¹), stirring all the time. Add about two tablespoons of cider vinegar.

Mix some cold water with some Maizena in a cup, add to pot while stirring.

Add about four spring onions, sliced.

You now have a nice thick sauce, so go play on the computer a bit while someone else cooks some rice and veggies.

Add half a tin’s worth of pimiento, sliced. Stir through, remove enough for said vegetarian daughter to bowl. Add chicken, sliced into bite-sized bits for people with small mouths. Heat through.


¹ : And Kosher, Parev and Halaal — and it actually tastes good. It’s a miracle, I tell you!


This is a recipe from Jamie, which I scribbled down from a book my mom had. Simple, but great, especially if you have a vegetarian daughter who lurves mushrooms.

Thinly slice a punnet of brown mushrooms, fry in oil, add salt, pepper, maybe a bit of marjoram or rosemary, maybe a bit of chilli powder. Add one cup vegetable stock, bring to boil.

Meanwhile, boil a pot of water with a lot of salt, then slowly (as to not douse the boil) add gnocchi. When they float, remove with slotty spoon, add to mushroom sauce.

And that’s it. OK, you can add a couple of tablespoons of Creme Fraiche if you’re feeling decadent.

Chicken soup with a soul

A.K.A. Mexican Chili, lime and chicken soup, straight from Lex Culinaria.

A while ago (actually, months ago) I cooked up a pot of chicken stock. I’d saved the leftover bones and bits from braai-ed marinaded flat chickens, three of them. Flat chickens are cheap and lekker, and the leftover bits make great stock.

I defrosted the pot (yea, I stuck the whole pot in the freezer, I was out of containers…) of stock, used it for the mushroom soup. There was about a litre left over, so last night I tried Lex’ recipe.

And it rocks.

A while ago (actually, months ago) I bought a polystyrene tray of mixed chillies. Yes, I stuck it in the freezer too. Gotta love a deep freeze. Out of this I pulled what looks a bit like a pimento, but completely round, and a little yellow triangular thing which looks a bit like a Santa Fe, but which might be Praire Fire, according to Chile Head. Gads, I need a book on identifying chillies. I also bought, last weekend, a long yellow something that tastes more like a sweet pepper than a chilli. Anyway, used half of one, half of the other, and the whole yellow thing, because Tanya also wanted some soup, and she’s not as accustomed to the hot stuff as I am. Removed the pips, of course.

For the rest, pretty much followed the recipe.

Now I need to try to propagate chillies from once frozen seeds. Because I really liked the taste of this mix.

Soup evening

We invited some people over, and with winter fast setting in, soup was on the menu.

Tanya felt like a mushroom soup, and I thought to make Irish Potato Soup with Bacon and Vegetables again (I found some more leftover turkey stock, yay!). But then Viv (visitor from PE) suggested three bean soup. So I climbed into the pantry cupboard and emerged with butter beans, small white beans, black eye beans, red speckled beans, and fava beans. OK, five bean soup then.

Viv having fun.

I made a mushroom soup recipe from RecipeZaar, using brown, portbellini and button mushrooms, and it was good. I also had lots of mushrooms left over, supper tonight is Mushroom Bourguignon (which I’ve made before — highly recommended).

Beef curry

Apologies to the readers. My posts lately have been about anything except house DIY.

We had basically the first of many housewarmings-to-be last Saturday. Was a good party. 12 couples, we had snacks, and beer, and wine, and a good time was had by all.

A lot of things happened in the run-up week. My wardrobe moved from the living room to the bedroom, for one (more on that later, it’s related to the shower… will tell you later, once I’ve permanently fixed the problem).

So… basically… nothing house related happened subsequently. And there’s a lot that needs to happen. Ah well.

Today, Tanya felt like a nice hearty curry. Beef, of course, she doesn’t like mutton.

So I toddled off to the local Spar, got 700-ish grams of stewing beef. Bit of Worcestershire, bit of Tobasco, bit of time, cut it up, flour, slow fry, remove. Fry onions and carrots, “extra spicy” curry powder and turmeric, deglaze with my brother’s Pinot Noir (realise I need to register a domain for him so that I can link to it). Add stock, tomatoes, apple, bay leaf, meat back in, simmer for an hour.

Add dumplings (not a success, next time read the packet, you need *self raising* flour, idjit. Kick self).

Result: very lekker curry.

From somewhere on the web:

BASIC CURRIED STEW (‘Westernised’!)

750g boneless beef neck, cubed, or beef ‘curry pieces’
30 ml cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
15 ml curry powder
15 ml turmeric
1 chilli, seeded and coarsely chopped <- I omitted this
5 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 apple, cut in wedges
1 tomato, skinned and cubed
3 carrots, sliced
200 ml meat stock
15 ml cake flour <- I omitted this. Or used 3x this to coat the meat before frying. Whatever.

Brown meat in heated cooking oil (remove). Add onion (and carrots) and sauté till transparent (obviously the onion not the carrots). Add curry, turmeric and chilli (or not chilli) and fry for 1 minute. Add peppercorns, bay leaves, tomato and heated meat stock (and apple, and meat back in). Lower heat, cover with lid and simmer for 1 ½ hours or till meat is tender. Thicken with cake flour and water paste if necessary. Serves 4. (serve on rice).

(Notes by me)

And there’s a trick to browning the meat. First, coat it with flour. Then, stick it in the pot, pieces not touching, in batches, and slowly brown. Turn with tongs. Brown some more. You want a coating of carcinogenic gunk sticking to the bottom of the Dutch oven. This kills you, maybe, but tastes good, guaranteed. Risk I’m prepared to take.

Kluitjies (dumplings)

Mix 175 grams *self raising* (kicks self) flour with 75 grams butter or marge, add water to make dough, add herbs and salt and pepper, make balls, float on stew/curry/whatever, cook for 1/2 an hour. Simple.

Note to self: your readers might have trouble following if you post after sampling the Pinot.


Last week sometime we bought a nice big avo. Not quite ripe yet, so I wrapped it in newspaper, stuck it in the veg basket and… didn’t forget about it, for once.

It was nicely ripe on Thursday, but we didn’t get around to it until this morning. Very ripe, extremely tasty, so I made guacamole. With a red onion from the market, a handful of cherry tomatoes… I licked the food processor clean :-)

Guacamole Recipe

Take one large very ripe avo, one small onion, 1 or two or (I used) 3 cloves garlic, a small tomato or a handfull of cherry tomatoes, the riper the better, 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice, and some salt and pepper, maybe a teaspoon or two Tobasco sauce, and blend in the food processor.

There, you’re done.

We’ve been cooking…

We went to the Porter Estate Market, bought all kinds of nice things, including an aubergine, five or six heads of garlic, some spinach, and a bag of grenadillas, which are called passion fruit in most parts of the world, it seems.

The aubergine was for making pseudo-Baba Ghanoush. “Pseudo”, because I used hummus instead of tahini. I had to bake the aubergine, so I also roasted the garlic. Now to find some tahini to make the real thing, to compare.

Tanya felt like a vegetable bake, so we googled this recipe, added broccoli and cauliflower, tastes as good as it looks. I made Tanya do all the work, but she still claims I made it, because it came out well…

I don’t often see grenadillas for sale, so when I saw this I figured I could use them to top a cheesecake — since I had a tub of cream cheese left over from the last time I made cheesecake a few weeks ago (I finally found a recipe that works really well).

Before baking.

I then googled for what to do for the grenadilla topping. Turns out it’s easy, mix with gelatine and let it set.

Behold, bitchez! (Roughly translated, I think it came out rather well :-)

Meanwhile, Tanya was rooting in the freezer and found an unlabelled container of what I suspected was a meat sauce for pasta, made… can’t remember when or why. Defrosted that and added the five heads of garlic’s worth of roasted garlic. Since the topic under discussion was lasagne, that’s what I decided to make. Except I choose my recipes carefully (that is, IMO, the #1 rule for cooking — cheat!) I had the sauce already, mixed up the cottage cheese, sour cream and egg sauce, and layered meat, one layer lasagne sheets, spread some sauce, another layer lasagne, some more sauce, and repeat. Top with cheese.

No prizes for presentation, but it was goood. Had the rest for lunch today, I think we’re both flea proof for the next few weeks.

Oh, and I tried making a sourdough starter but it didn’t take. Fortunately I have a sachet a friend brought from Yellowknife, will try that next.