Recipe For Fish Soup

I do not like the word diet. It conjures up starving yourself, or fads. I like the term healthy eating plan instead. This year we changed our eating plan. We’ve always eaten healthily but this year we made some changes. I can tell you after 4 months that this works for us. We’ve cut out carbohydrates in the form of pasta and potatoes every week night. I’ve not bought potatoes this year, and even though I consider myself a bit of a potato addict, I’ve not missed them. We are eating pasta at the most once a week and each dish is special instead of a boring use of what is in the fridge. I’ve not lost much weight, but I am slimmer. I am training 3 times a week and a lot of the wobbly bits have firmed up. As muscle weighs more than fat I am well pleased. I stopped drinking wine during the week for the first two months of the year to aid the new plan, and now I’m back to enjoying a glass with dinner each night. I have cut out sandwiches during the week which means lunch has to be thought about. I’m enjoying fruit and yoghurt or oats for breakfast and salad and boiled eggs for lunch. All told, I feel great and healthy and to me, that was the ultimate aim. Over the weekends Dave and I have indulged in hotdogs and wraps, but I decided that I could make a hot lunch for us, if the weather called for it. I love being in my kitchen, especially when it is raining. Here is a great rainy day soup recipe.

"Fish Soup"

Fish Soup

Fish Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 125mls white wine
  • 500mls vegetable stock
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 200g hake fillet, cut into chunks (use more if you have it)
  • Seasoned flour for dusting
  • 125mls cream
Method
  1. Heat the butter and the oil in a large pot
  2. Add the onion and the garlic and sauté until soft
  3. Add the mustard powder and the curry powder and a couple of turns of your pepper mill
  4. Cook until you can smell the spices
  5. Add the wine and bring to the boil and boil for 30 seconds
  6. Add the stock and the carrots and simmer until the carrots are soft
  7. Pat your fish dry and dust with the seasoned flour
  8. Add the fish to the stock and bring to the boil
  9. Cook for 5 minutes and reduce the heat and add the cream
  10. Stir in until warmed and serve
  11. I added a teaspoon of coriander pesto for some extra zing

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Tandy

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Recipe For Pink Champagne Jelly

Some wine estates have had our support since we moved to the Helderberg in 2001. Eikendal has been one of them. I just love their Brut Rosé and bought cases at a time. Then, at the beginning of 2010 I went to top up and was told “sorry, we no longer make this”. The lady who I always get my stock from told me she would call me if they got any in. So, I waited – and shopped elsewhere for the pink bubbly I love. In October of 2010 my friend Chantelle told me that Eikendal were having a competition for the Helderberg Wine Festival. Everyone who purchased a bottle of wine / bubbly would be entitled to enter their competition to win a night at the lodge. The Saturday of the festival, Chantelle called to tell me she had a case of pink bubbly for me :) They had ‘found’ some. Not to miss out on all the stock they have on the Sunday we made a stop at Eikendal. We entered the competition to win a night at the lodge and tasted some wine. While trying to make a purchase, we were ‘pushed aside’ while 3 other people were dealt with. I waited patiently for what should have been my turn first in order to ask whether there was anymore pink bubbly to be told “sorry, your friend took the last ones”. How on earth she knew Chantelle was my friend is beyond me. She did however offer to call me if anymore came in, and so I left her my details. There was another competition running – spend R550 and stand a chance to win 6 bottles of their flagship wines. So, I spent over R550 and put my name in the draw.

The following Monday an email arrived in my inbox

congratulations Andy ~ Your name was drawn in our competition

taking this to be a typo: Andy instead of Tandy, I drove back to Eikendal on Wednesday to collect my winnings. The same lady told me no, this email does not mean you won it was sent to all the entries – WTF? (sorry, I need to use this type of language here). How can you send a group email of this nature?

So, to say sorry for the inconvenience I was given a bottle of …..

yup, you guessed it right! Brut Rosé. The same item they supposedly had none left of.

Now, my first disappointment is obviously not winning the competition, but the second disappointment is that I was told an untruth (lie being such a strong word). There is more of the Brut Rosé – and I would have bought all of it given the opportunity.

I have been saving this bubbly for special occasions and a few weeks ago, the occasion arose. I opened the bottle, and it was flat. I was so disappointed but in order to make sure it was not wasted I capped the bottle and set it aside to use in my kitchen. I remember seeing a recipe for jelly that used pink champagne in the Taste magazine, and so I decided to use it for that.

"Pink Champagne Jelly"

Pink Champagne Jelly

Pink Champagne Jelly
 
Adapted from Taste magazine page 118 October 2011 issue 66
Ingredients
  • 2 damask rose herbal tea buds
  • 60mls water
  • 310mls rosé champagne
  • 80mls sugar - I used fructose
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 3 gelatine leaves
Method
  1. Bring the water to the boil
  2. Add the rose buds and reduce to a simmer
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes before adding the champagne
  4. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved
  5. Simmer while you prepare the gelatine by covering with cold water and leaving for 5 minutes
  6. Remove the champagne from the heat
  7. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the champagne
  8. Stir well until the gelatine dissolves
  9. Pour the jelly into glasses and refrigerate overnight to set

If you are still finding your inbox inundated with comments, or want to know how to turn off the option, please click here to read Sharp Little Pencil’s solution.

Tandy

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Recipe For Appletini

I do not often post a recipe for an alcoholic drink, in fact, I think you might only find one other on my blog. But I have been inspired by Greg and Katherine over and Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide. They post the most amazing concoction of alcoholic cocktails, and they even use booze in their food. People after my own heart as I love to cook with wine! When we went to the opening of Liam Tomlin Food at Leopard’s Leap we were served Appletini’s using their chenin blanc. The following week, I was assigned apples from Woolworths for their blog, and so I decided I would share with those readers the appletini cocktail. This recipe was however not included in the Chopping Board Chit Chat, but I think it is shareworthy. Both versions are very refreshing and very deceptive. I stopped at one, but a jugful would make a great start to a summer’s evening of entertaining.

thank you to each and over one who read my blog while we were away and left comments! I have replied to them all, and managed to read a few posts while we were away. Hopefully by the end of the week, life will be back to normal – I am heading off to unpack now!

"Appletini"

Appletini

One would usually make this by mixing one tot of vodka with apple juice but an alternative is to take 100mls of white wine and top it with apple juice – salute!

Tandy

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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 19

I am in Scotland and will return to South Africa on the 8th of May – I will reply to blog comments then. This quiz post has been scheduled in advance.

1. What is tahini?

a thick smooth paste made from roasted ground sesame seeds

2. Where do pomegranates originate from?

it is of Asian origin and spread west to the African shores of the Mediterranean many thousands of years ago 

3.  What is cataplana?

Portuguese seafood dish and the word also refers to the clam like pot it is cooked in

4. What is cilantro more commonly known as?

coriander (dhania)

5. What type of bread is traditionally made in a tandoor?

naan 

6. Where would one put forcemeat?

stuffing mixture of of finely chopped or ground meat, herbs and seasoning – to go into a chicken or turkey

7. What is rice paper made from?

it is made from the straw of rice 

8. Who invented the hamburger?

it evolved in the USA in the early years of the 20th century

9. What is cassata?

an iced dessert which originated in Italy. is usually consists of layers of ice cream at least one of which contains chopped nuts and glazed fruit and sometimes also a layer of sweetened whipped cream. Sicilian cassata consists of strips of sponge cake soaked in a liqueur or sweet dessert wine, encasing ricotta cheese, mixed with nuts and glazed fruit cake. both types are traditionally made in a rectangular mold hence the name which is derived from the Italian word for ‘little brick’

10. What is falafel?

deep fried balls of ground and spiced chickpea. a snack of Middle Eastern Origin – goes well with hummus which is made with tahini

Tandy

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Licorice

Licorice is a graceful, arching, deciduous perennial which grows to about 1.5m. It has a thick, deep taproot and spreads underground via extensive stolons. Above ground it has pinnately compound leaves and loose spikes of purple flowers. Licorice grows particularly well on the rich alluvial plains of Turkey, which, together with Spain and Greece, is still a leading world supplier.

 

Licorice prefers a rich, deep, sandy loam and a sunny position. New crops are propagated by rhizome segments planted in spring, but can also be propagated by seed. Portions of rhizome left in the soil at harvest time will generate new plants.

Both the taproot and the rhizomes can be used. They are usually dug when 3 years old and air-dried before being ground and then processed. Licorice root is one of the many spices and herbs used in Chinese master stocks, adding to their intensity and depth of flavour. Add the chopped root sparingly (as it can be bitter) when stewing fruit.

Tandy

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In My Kitchen – May 2012

I am in Scotland and will return to South Africa on the 8th of May – I will reply to blog comments then. This post has been scheduled in advance.

Please join Celia, who blogs over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, by sharing with us what is in your kitchen!

In my fridge on the 1st of April was ….

© Sue was worried there was no wine in my fridge

© Sue was worried there was no wine in my fridge

In my kitchen …..

are two new egg holders – I looked long and hard, high and low, for something suitable. These are great as they have their own salt shakers and I can indulge in breakfast in bed over the weekend.

© egg holders

© egg holders

In my kitchen …..

are two little poaching pods for when I don’t feel like soft boiled eggs. They work really well and I am glad to never again have to worry that my eggs are not super fresh.

© poach pods

© poach pods

In my kitchen …..

is a gift from the bloggers cook off hosted by Canderel at Jenny Morris Cooks Play Ground

© Le Creuset is my favourite

© Le Creuset is my favourite

In my kitchen …

Is this three in one funnel which should make my life so easy. I am going to start making jams etc. when we get back.

© three in one funnel

© three in one funnel

Wishing you all a Marvelous May.

Tandy

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Recipe For Layered Sponge Cake

I have never taken part in an Aspiring Bakers Challenge before, but when I saw challenge number 18 on Sweet Sam’s blog I knew that the idea I had been playing around with in my mind, needed to take shape on a plate. I have been thinking about making a layered cake since I watched an episode of Master Chef Australia last year. I don’t usually make layered cakes, as it is only Dave and I at home, and the cake I make is a simple pound cake (thanks Celia for teaching me this) which stays moist all week. It has a simple ganache frosting and we enjoy a slice a night after dinner. April and May are very short months for me, as we spend a week of each month overseas. This leaves little time for challenges as the only time I can bake is over the weekends. I decided that our last weekend at home this month would be dedicated to packing the toiletries we need for our trip, and baking this cake.

The recipe I have used is a basic sponge recipe. It worked so well with my time constraints as you can get one layer going while the oven heats, and the next two layers started during the baking process. I used a simple whipped cream filling and topping as I wanted to blend the flavours. My idea was for a multi coloured layered cake, with vanilla on the bottom, coffee in the middle and chocolate on the top. I tied this all together by using nutmeg in the cream. The verdict – I would make this again but if I were making it for friends I would double the ingredients for each layer, to make it really stand out (and stand up). However, I made a small layered cake so that it would be finished before we left for Scotland.

"Layered Sponge Cake"

Layered Sponge Cake

Layered Sponge Cake
 
Ingredients
For the vanilla layer:
  • 1 egg
  • 30g caster sugar – I used fructose
  • 5mls vanilla extract
  • 30g self raising flour
For the coffee layer:
  • 1 egg
  • 30g caster sugar – I used fructose
  • 25g self raising flour
  • 5g finely ground coffee
For the chocolate layer:
  • 1 egg
  • 30g caster sugar – I used fructose
  • 25g self raising flour
  • 5g cacao powder
For the filling and frosting:
  • 1 cup cream
  • 50g honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Cacao for dusting
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  2. For the vanilla layer:
  3. Place the egg, sugar and vanilla into a stand mixer bowl
  4. Beat on a medium heat until the eggs are pale and more than doubled in size – the longer you beat the eggs, the more air you incorporate into them
  5. Sieve the flour and gently fold into the egg mixture
  6. Pour into a lined baking tin and smooth the top with a spatula
  7. Bake for 10 minutes
  8. Turn out straight away onto a sheet of baking paper and carefully remove the baking paper from the sponge
  9. For the coffee layer:
  10. While your vanilla layer is baking, place the egg and sugar into a stand mixer bowl
  11. Beat on a medium heat until the eggs are pale and more than doubled in size
  12. Sieve the flour and coffee and gently fold into the egg mixture
  13. Pour into a lined baking tin and smooth the top with a spatula
  14. Bake for 10 minutes
  15. Turn out straight away onto a sheet of baking paper and carefully remove the baking paper from the sponge
  16. For the chocolate layer:
  17. While your coffee layer is baking, place the egg and sugar into a stand mixer bowl
  18. Beat on a medium heat until the eggs are pale and more than doubled in size
  19. Sieve the flour and cacao and gently fold into the egg mixture
  20. Pour into a lined baking tin and smooth the top with a spatula
  21. Bake for 10 minutes
  22. Turn out straight away onto a sheet of baking paper and carefully remove the baking paper from the sponge
  23. Leave each layer to cool completely before assembling
  24. To assemble:
  25. Whisk together the cream, honey and nutmeg until thick
  26. Place the vanilla sponge onto your serving plate
  27. Use a third of the cream on top of this layer and smooth it off
  28. Then place the coffee sponge on top of this
  29. Use another third of the cream on top of this layer and smooth it off
  30. Then place the chocolate later on top of this
  31. Use the balance of the cream on top of this layer and smooth it off
  32. Dust the top with cacao to finish it off

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

My friend Colleen asked me how I got the cream so smooth. I have a lazy Susan in my kitchen and I use it for icing my cakes. The cake plate goes on top of the lazy Susan, and I use my palette knife to smooth the frosting while I slowly rotate the lazy Susan. I keep the palette knife steady and the rotation does the work for me.

I am submitting this recipe to Aspiring Bakers #18: Layers of Love (April 2012) which is being hosted this month by Sam of Sweet Samsations.

Tandy

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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 18

I am in Scotland and will return to South Africa on the 8th of May – I will reply to blog comments then. This quiz post has been scheduled in advance.

1. Where did the yule log originate from?

Germany

2. What is abalone?

an edible sea mollusc commonly known in South Africa as Perlemoen.  

3. What is TVP?

textured vegetable protein = soya 

4. What is the difference between a velouté and a béchamel sauce?

a veloute is a sauce made from a stock which has been thickened with a roux. A bechamel sauce is made up of warm milk added to a roux 

5. Which bone is specifically used in flavouring soups?

I use shin, but I would guess that Marrow bones is a better answer 

6. What would you be eating if you ordered tori udon in a Japanese Restaurant?

we had udon noodles for supper last night, but have no idea what tori is. 

7. Is Feta a matured cheese?

yes 

8. What is so special about Darjeeling tea?

it is a tea grown in a specific area same as Champagne can only be grown in Champagne and Port comes from Portugal 

9. What is another name for the tree tomato?

Tamarillo 

10. Why is it advisable not to boil gelatine?

it will destroy the setting ability of the gelatine 

11. Which pastry cream, flavoured with ground almonds, is used to fill or top pastries and cakes?

frangipane

12. Besides giving a professional finish, what else does a glaze do to a fruit flan?

seals it

13. What is another name for a hero sandwich?

a submarine

14. What is a kipper?

a herring that has been salted and smoked and eaten for breakfast!

15. What do we call Italian potato and semolina dumplings?

gnocchi

Tandy

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Lemon Verbena

I am in Scotland and will return to South Africa on the 8th of May – I will reply to blog comments then. This post has been scheduled in advance.

The deliciously fresh, refined and intense lemon fragrance of lemon verbena, which is native to Peru and Argentina, has long been prized for use in tisanes, liqueurs and cooking.

It is a shrub with arching branches and pointed leaves arranged in whorls of three around the stems. In summer the bush produces large terminal panicles of tiny, four petalled, white or pale lavender flowers.

It requires full sun, and a free draining loam with neutral pH. Propagate by semi ripe tip cuttings. Lemon verbena is cut back by frost, so should be winter mulched in cool climates. In heavy frost areas grow in a pot and bring it under protection during winter dormancy. Trim to shape . Bushes often leaf out very late in spring; don’t discard them prematurely.

Leaves can be harvested at any time to use fresh or for air-drying. The leaves are best used fresh and young. Use sparingly, otherwise the flavour can overwhelm the food and be reminiscent of lemon scented soap. It is a common ingredient in many herbal teas, imparting a wonderfully fragrant flavour, and can be substituted for lemon grass in Asian recipes. The leaves are used to give a lemon flavour to fruit salads and other fruit dishes, desserts and drinks. Infuse them in custard based sauces for desserts or finely chop and add to Asian dishes, poultry and stuffings. Add whole leaves to apple jelly, and chopped young leaves to fruit salads. With its digestive and relaxant properties, the tea is ideal for drinking after dinner.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

Tandy

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Tandy Goes To Scotland!

I am leaving for Scotland today (the 25th of April) and I will be returning to South Africa on the 8th of May. I have no idea how much internet coverage we will have, or how much time I will have to play on the internet. So, I will not be replying to any comments on my blog – but I do have some posts scheduled. I will reply to each and every comment on my return. I have loaded a RSS reader onto my PlayBook and I will try and read blogs when I can – if I LIKE your post, it means I have read it! Hope you all have a lovely time between now and then.

Tandy

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