Recipe For Baked Arancini

When I made arancini the first time, Corina mentioned that she had baked hers when she made them. As I moderate my comments, both Kathryn and Mary Frances had not seen Corina’s comment, nor had they seen each others’ asking if these could be baked. I am always up for a challenge, and decided to try and bake arancini stuffed with cheese as part of a meal. On the Friday afternoon before I made these I went shopping with my friend Nadia. We were browsing the aisles for snack food and when I saw the vegetable crisps I decided to buy them to use for this recipe instead of making them. This was a short cut I was willing to take as I know how long it takes to form the arancini. The nice thing with baking them is that you don’t have to stand over a deep fryer and watch them or indeed fry them in batches. I loved the crunchy exterior and the gooey interior and would make these again for sure.

Baked Arancini Stuffed With Cheese Recipe For Baked Arancini

Baked Arancini Stuffed With Cheese

Baked Arancini Stuffed With Cheese

Ingredients:

    for the risotto
  • 800mls chicken stock
  • 250g arboria rice
  • 2g salt
  • 8 saffron threads
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • for the arancini
  • 80g mozzarella cheese (the one you use for pizzas)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 80g crumbed vegetable crips

Method:

    for the risotto
  • Bring the stock to the boil in a sauce pan
  • Add the rice, salt and saffron
  • Bring back to the boil and cook for 15 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and after 1 minute, beat in the Parmesan
  • Set aside to cool completely
  • for the arancini
  • Preheat the oven to 160° Celsius
  • Wet your hands and using a serving spoon, scoop some rice into your palm
  • Shape into a large ball and then press your thumb into the centre to make a hole
  • Fill the hole with 10g of mozzarella and seal up and shape back into a ball
  • Wet your hands and repeat until you have used up all the rice - I made 8
  • Now beat the egg whites and dip one of the balls into the egg whites
  • Place the rice ball into the crumbed vegetable crisps and coat completely
  • Lightly compact the crisps with your hand and place the arancini into an oven proof dish
  • Bake for 20 minutes
http://tandysinclair.com/baked-arancini/
 Recipe For Baked Arancini

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The Millhouse Kitchen, Somerset West

When The Millhouse Kitchen opened on the Lourensford wine estate Dave and I went to enjoy a meal. This was two years ago and little has changed. The menu which is rustic Italian with French influences, then and now is inspiring, and the food mostly good. When we went the first time I put the poor service down to them having only just opened, but after our experience on Saturday night this must be a result of lack of interest. The venue is wonderful and during the day you can sit outside and enjoy the amazing view. We sat close to the fire, within site of the open kitchen and far away from the pub area.

The Millhouse Kitchen The Millhouse Kitchen, Somerset West

The Millhouse Kitchen

The wine list consists only of Lourensford Wines which are available per glass or per bottle and are well priced to suit any pocket. We chose the River Garden Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 (R95). As soon as we ordered this our waiter informed us there were only 3 bottles available. I was not sure why a restaurant situated on a wine estate could not have stocked up before dinner service on the wines, and this was a theme to continue through the night. Our wine was brought to the table and Hans told the waiter he would not be having wine. However, the waiter could not have been listening as after Dave had tasted the wine, he poured for Hans. I took over that glass and Hans ordered a brandy and coke, and Kaz ordered a cocktail from the very good list of options. It took some time for her cocktail to arrive, and the waiter blamed the bar for the slow service. The wine is fruity and slightly dry with a lovely nose and a light hint of berries. There is also an excellent selection of single malt whisky’s which are well priced. Corkage is R35 / 750ml for wine and R50 / 750ml MCC and sparkling wine.

Mussel Starter The Millhouse Kitchen, Somerset West

Mussel Starter

I ordered the mussels to start and these were served in a cider cream flavoured with oregano (R65). The 11 mussels were very flavourful and succulent. I was brought a bowl for the shells which was great attention to detail and I placed this bowl on the side plate. I was not sure why we had side plates and butter knives as we were not offered bread before our starters arrived. When the waiter cleared the starter plates he removed the side plates and we were under the impression bread was not on offer. However, we then saw the waiter bringing bread to other tables. When we asked why we had not received our bread he told us it was not ready from the kitchen before our starters arrived. However, when it was served it was cold! This means to me that he forgot. The bread on offer was focaccia with cheese, onion and tomato or ciabatta. Dave, Hans and Kaz each had a slice which was served with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and butter.

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank The Millhouse Kitchen, Somerset West

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank

My main course was a slow cooked lamb shank (R135) that was served off the bone and was really dry. The buttered mash was bland and cold, and I am not sure if it was not heated or if the cold bowl had something to do with this. The slow roasted vegetables were really nice and I used all the sauce to moisten my meat. I left the potatoes after one forkful. Both my main course and starter could be considered ‘finger food’ but I was not offered a finger bowl after each course.

Crème Brûlée The Millhouse Kitchen, Somerset West

Crème Brûlée

I was quite impressed that the dessert menu included a gluten free option as well as a cheese board. I chose the crème brûlée which was excellent. There was a crunchy crack to the brûlée and the custard was smooth. It was served with biscotti and strawberries. Our waiter appeared to not know the menu when he told Hans that there was no hot chocolate on the menu. Maybe he meant to say there was none available as when we checked the menu it was there, and when we asked him he said that the restaurant had not ordered any! Dave ordered an espresso which finally arrived cold after all of our desserts. Once again the waiter shifted blame and said that he had watched them pour it but the cup was cold. Dave had seen the cup standing on the counter so we knew the waiter had forgotten to bring it. And frankly, if he had felt it was cold he should have asked for a new one to be made. Expect to pay an average per head of R123 for the main meal.

The bad service resulted in a below average tip and I hope that this prompts the waiter to look at why he was not rewarded to the amount he expected to be. However, despite the food being excellent as far as everyone else at the table was concerned, I won’t be going back there in a rush.

Contact them on 021 847 2328 or pop in Tuesdays to Sundays for breakfast, lunch or dinner or Sundays for breakfast or lunch.

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Recipe For Sourdough Baguette

A couple of years ago I was gifted a subscription to the Reader’s Digest magazine. I read it from cover to cover while walking on the elliptical trainer at gym, to occupy my mind and stave off the boredom of walking for 15 minutes and getting nowhere! In the one issue I read about how baguette is meant to smell of apples or pears when torn open. I will be visiting France later this year and will test this out every day, as our lunch always consists of baguette with cheese and other accompaniments. When I read that Celia had used cider to feed her starter with great success, I decided that a good way to get the apple scent into my baguette would be to use cider together with the water in the preparation of the dough. I have tested this recipe for sourdough baguette using water only, and it works just as well, so if you do not drink alcohol and don’t cook with it, you can still make this baguette. I made one loaf with both apple cider and another with pear cider, as well as my perry and they each lend a lovely scent to the baguette.

Have you ever smelt a loaf of bread when breaking it open?

Sourdough Baguette Recipe For Sourdough Baguette

Sourdough Baguette

Sourdough Baguette

Ingredients:

  • 200g fed sourdough starter
  • 600g bread flour
  • 100g water
  • 200g cider
  • 10g fine salt

Method:

  • Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl
  • Mix by hand until all the flour is incorporated
  • Knead the dough in the bowl for 2 minutes
  • Cover with cling film and leave to prove for an hour
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes
  • Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling film
  • Leave to prove until doubled in size
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface
  • Divide in two and shape each piece into a baguette shape
  • Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 220° Celsius
  • Slash the dough and place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes
http://tandysinclair.com/sourdough-baguette/
 Recipe For Sourdough Baguette

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The Tombs, Clive Cussler

The Tombs opening line: The barbarian equipment was enormous, a great city that moved from place to place at whim of its unquestioned leader, the High King.

The Tombs The Tombs, Clive Cussler

The Tombs

I love historical dramas and this one is a fantastic read. We follow the path of the Fargo’s, a wealthy American couple, as they trace the treasure tombs of Attila the Hun. Not only is the book a real page turner, it is full of interesting facts. I am so determined to take a trip back to Rome to explore the catacombs after reading this book.

Written together with Thomas Perry, Clive Cussler has once again given me a perfect read. I can highly recommend that you buy this book, and the others in the Fargo Adventure series, which I will be on the lookout for.

First published in the United States of America by G.P. Putnum’s Sons in 2012

ISBN number 978-0-241-96173-5

Paperback – 409 pages

Disclaimer: I was sent the book to review by Penguin Books South Africa. I was not required to write a positive review. This disclaimer is in line with my blogging policy.

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Recipe For Champagne Ice Cream

I wanted to make a special ice cream to serve with a plum tart tatin I was making for a dinner party. Tart tatin is my go to dessert and ice cream is one of the easiest treats for me to make. This champagne ice cream seemed like the perfect one. I was given a bottle of champagne from Leopard’s Leap and decided to use this for my champagne ice cream. I was telling a friend of mine who is from France about the ice cream and she suggested I use vanilla as the spice for the ice cream. I had some vanilla powder at home, and used this and not vanilla bean for the champagne ice cream. I am sure a vanilla beans would work just as well, and even some cardamom might add an interesting dimension to this champagne ice cream. I will let you experiment!

Plum Tart Tatin With Champagne Ice Cream Recipe For Champagne Ice Cream

Plum Tart Tatin With Champagne Ice Cream

Champagne Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 250mls champagne
  • 400mls milk
  • 100mls cream
  • 5mls vanilla powder
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 80g sugar - I used fructose

Method:

  • Place the champagne into a small saucepan and bring to the boil
  • Set aside to cool
  • Place the milk, Cream and vanilla into a saucepan
  • Bring to blood temperature over a medium heat
  • Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together until you reach a ribbon stage
  • Pour half of the milk onto the egg yolks and whisk until mixed
  • Return the mixture to your saucepan
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until a custard forms and remove from the heat
  • Sieve the custard into a pouring jug
  • Mix in the champagne
  • Cool overnight and then churn in an ice cream churner as per the manufacturer’s instructions
http://tandysinclair.com/champagne-ice-cream/
 Recipe For Champagne Ice Cream

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Four And Twenty, Wynberg

My parents made their annual visit to us in June and the plan for the day was that Dave and my dad would go to the motor racing, and my mom and I would go for lunch. My mom had read about Four And Twenty and so we decided to make our way to the Southern Suburbs. It was pouring with rain, and given the amount of water on the ground, Dave reckoned the racing would not be fun and so he decided all 4 of us would go for lunch. We managed to find parking quite easily in the road and luckily for us there was a table available. They do not take reservations on Saturdays and I was told when I called that they are full from breakfast time, but a table of 2 should not be a problem.

Four Twenty Four And Twenty, Wynberg

Four & Twenty

They serve local organic produce from Tenterden Children’s Home Project where possible. The average main course price is R83 which I consider high for lunch. I chose a brandy cask aged cider to drink (660mls for R58) which is one of the nicest ciders I have had in South Africa. The wine list is good, with a good representation of local wines and good prices.

The Decorations Four And Twenty, Wynberg

The Decorations

For my lunch I chose the sandwich of the day (R65) which was one slice of bread, topped with avocado, feta and chicken mixed with a honey aioli and served with a side salad. The side salad was lettuce only and had quite an oily dressing. The sandwich itself was extremely tasty and the portion was generous.

Sandwich Of The Day Four And Twenty, Wynberg

Sandwich Of The Day

The dining area was very noisy and overly warm. The staff are extremely friendly and most helpful. They are open Tuesday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm and Sundays 9am to 4pm. Contact them on 021 762 0975 

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Recipe For Bibimbap

In the last couple of months, the saying “There but for the grace of G-d go I” (John Bradford) keeps coming to mind. It is meant as an expression of humility but I am repeating it to myself as a gratitude of all that I have. Winter in the Western Cape is always wet. It is our rainy season and snow can be expected mid August. Our temperatures do not normally get that cold and the fluctuations are not that great. We can expect day time temperatures of around 15° Celsius and night time lows of 6° Celsius. However, this winter has been an exception. It snowed the first week of June and we have already had extreme cold of 3° Celsius during the day. It has been raining a lot (enough to fill our half built swimming pool). It has also been hot enough to consider the weather more spring like than mid winter. Another feature of the area in which I live is the fact that homelessness is common place. What is called sleeping rough in most countries is nothing new to the Western Cape. And it is for this reason that I am grateful for the roof over my head. I have a warm bed to sleep in every night, and the rain to me is an aid to watering my garden. I have food on my table and I don’t need to worry where my next meal will come from. Meals can be simple, or extravagant, and a bibimbap (mixed rice) is a perfectly good example of a complete meal in one dish. I have made mine without meat and this was a perfect meal for us for lunch. As I said there but for the grace of G-d go I!

Bibimbap Recipe For Bibimbap

Bibimbap

Bibimbap

Ingredients:

    for the rice
  • 105g white rice
  • 250mls coconut water (or tap water)
  • pinch of salt
  • for the topping
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • Soy sauce for seasoning
  • 1/2 yellow pepper (capsicum), seeded and thinly sliced
  • 100g sugar snap peas, sliced in half
  • 1/2 small red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 150g exotic mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 egg yolks

Method:

    for the rice
  • Place the rice and water and the salt into a sauce pan
  • Bring to the boil
  • Place the lid on top, turn off the heat and leave to steam for 40 minutes
  • for the topping
  • Once the rice has steamed begin with your vegetables
  • Heat a little bit of oil in a wok or frying pan
  • Sauté the onions until soft
  • Stir them into the rice
  • Add the yellow pepper to the pan (adding more oil if necessary) and sauté for a few minutes
  • Add a dash of soy sauce and set aside
  • Now add the peas to the pan (adding more oil if necessary) and sauté for a few minutes
  • Add a dash of soy sauce and set aside
  • Next add the cabbage to the pan (adding more oil if necessary) and sauté for a few minutes
  • Add a dash of soy sauce and set aside
  • Finally fry off the mushrooms until cooked
  • Add a dash of soy sauce and set aside
  • for the Bimimbap
  • Add the rice to a bowl
  • Top with the vegetables, laying them out separately
  • Place the egg yolk into the middle and add a dash of soy sauce if you want
  • Serve hot and mix the egg yolk and vegetables into the rice before eating
http://tandysinclair.com/bibimbap/
 Recipe For Bibimbap

For conversions click here

Bibimbap Mixed Rice Recipe For Bibimbap

Bibimbap Mixed Rice

Blog-checking lines: The July Daring Cooks’ Challenge took us to Korea, where Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado taught us to make bibimbap. This colorful rice dish can be customized to meet any taste, and is as much fun to eat as it is to say!

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Out And About: Friday 11 July 2014

Last Friday night were out and about at 96 Winery Road to pit beer against wine. Dave and I decided that the wine worked best with the meal as a whole but I can totally understand why you would order mussels and beer at lunch time! We had a really great meal and a fantastic evening and I am looking forward to going to the whisky evening next month.

Pork Wellington Out And About: Friday 11 July 2014

Pork Wellington

Yesterday I attended the #knorrexperience function courtesy of KnorrWe were warmly welcomed with canapés before listening to a very interesting talk by Megan Pentz-Kluyts who said “health is delicious”. I could not agree more with this statement. We enjoyed a tomato and lentil soup to start as well as the most divine blue cheese I have tasted for some time. We then teamed up and went to cook. My team made a sundried tomato, butternut and baby spinach pasta as well as a couscous and roasted vegetable salad. Once everyone had cooked their meals we sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labour. I must say, the dishes I tried were all good. Dessert was an apple tarte tatin which was scrummy to say the least. I was sent home with a huge goody bag! Thank you to the entire team for a great event.

Knorr Experience Out And About: Friday 11 July 2014

Knorr Experience

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this event by Verve Marketing and Communication and my invitation was not conditional of me posting about it. This disclaimer is in line with my blogging policy.

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Recipe For Yoghurt And Tahini Dressing

I have decided to start getting creative in the kitchen with salad dressing recipes. I made cucumber and feta salads during the summer months to go with what we were cooking on the barbecue. I would ordinarily serve this with my standard salad dressing which I always have in the fridge, and elevate the flavours with a bit of fresh mint, straight from the garden. However, in my attempt to change things up a bit with new salad dressings, I decided to make one using yoghurt and tahini. Tahini is another ingredient I always have in my pantry as I much prefer to make my own hummus than buy it. This salad dressing is quite versatile and it will work perfectly on some boiled potatoes as well.

Yoghurt And Tahini Salad Dressing Recipe For Yoghurt And Tahini Dressing

Yoghurt And Tahini Salad Dressing

Yoghurt And Tahini Salad Dressing Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 100mls yoghurt
  • 30mls tahini
  • 5mls ground cumin
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Method:

  • Mix together the yoghurt, tahini, cumin and lemon juice
  • Season to taste
http://tandysinclair.com/yoghurt-and-tahini-dressing/
 Recipe For Yoghurt And Tahini Dressing

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Stocking A Spice Drawer

There is no right way or wrong way to go about stocking a spice drawer! Each country has spices and herbs that are unique and so there are things in my drawer you might not need or use, and some things that you will also have. The trick is to start small and only buy what you will use. I dry a lot of my own herbs, especially tarragon which grows in abundance in my garden. I have 78 different herbs and spices but it has taken me a long time to collect them.

My Spice Drawer Stocking A Spice Drawer

My Spice Drawer

On my kitchen counter I keep a salt pig with medium flaked salt. This is for Dave who prefers to use this with his cooking. I prefer to use the flaked salt as a finishing salt, and the coarse salt in the grinder when I cook. I also have some wine salt, fine salt, and a pepper grinder close to hand.

Salt and pepper Stocking A Spice Drawer

Salt and pepper

I have a shelf above the stove and that holds the chilli flakes, herbs de Provence and the flowers of Scotland blend. The containers for the chillies and herbs come from France and are specifically designed for the herbs and act as a grinder.

A few extras Stocking A Spice Drawer

A few extras

I have a collection of spices for curry and they start with chipotle chillies, cassia bark, red chillies and 4 different curry blends of differing strengths as well as fenugreek seeds.

Curry spices Stocking A Spice Drawer

Curry spices

To make a curry you will also need green cardamom, cloves, star anise and cinnamon quills.

Spices For Curry Stocking A Spice Drawer

Spices For Curry

and for other dishes you need juniper berries, white cardamom, nutmeg and mace

Spices and Nutmeg Grater Stocking A Spice Drawer

Spices and Nutmeg Grater

I have a good selection of herbs! In my drawer you will find rosemary, mint, marjoram and thyme which I consider essential!

Essential Herbs Stocking A Spice Drawer

Essential Herbs

As well as dill, sage, tarragon and parsley

A Few More Herbs Stocking A Spice Drawer

A Few More Herbs

AS well as oregano, basil, mixed herbs and lemon myrtle.

A Few More Herbs1 Stocking A Spice Drawer

And Even More Herbs

Next to show you are the selection of peppers: white pepper, Sichuan pepper, black pepper, pink peppercorns and my newest addition of telicherry peppercorns.

Peppers Stocking A Spice Drawer

Peppers

and salts: truffle salt, smoked salt, black salt, Singapore salt and chilli salt flakes

Salts Stocking A Spice Drawer

Salts

You will also find allspice, ground nutmeg, ground cumin, ground coriander, mixed spice and pickling spice in my drawer.

More spices Stocking A Spice Drawer

More spices

Next we have a collection of seeds: celery, poppy, mustard, dill, fennel, coriander, cumin and nigella

Seeds Stocking A Spice Drawer

Seeds

And a collection of onion flakes, garlic flakes, oak smoked red pepper, Cajun spice, sumac and ground ginger

more in the collection Stocking A Spice Drawer

more in the collection

These are flavour and colour adding spices – cayenne pepper, turmeric, smoked paprika, curry powder, hot paprika, paprika

Flavour and colour Stocking A Spice Drawer

Flavour and colour

For baking I have vanilla powder, ground cinnamon, lavender petals and a vanilla bean

Baking Stocking A Spice Drawer

Baking

Last but not least I have lime leaves, dulse, bay leaves, curry leaves, wasabi and saffron

Leaves and more Stocking A Spice Drawer

Leaves and more

Everything in bold is what I would start out with if you are stocking a spice drawer for the first time. The rest of your drawer can grow organically as you make more and more dishes at home.

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