Recipe For Turnip And Spinach Soup

I want to thank all the bloggers who took part in this challenge. I was not going to take part, but Paula was going to have her ingredient list ‘orphaned’ so I decided to participate. I love making food with a random set of ingredients and so this challenge is a pleasure for me. Paula challenged me to use the following 7 ingredients:

  • fresh spinach
  • fish – fresh or frozen, freshwater or saltwater
  • berries – fresh or frozen
  • cheese – Gruyere or Emmentaler
  • portabello mushrooms
  • quinoa
  • turnips, parsnips or rutabaga – or any combination of the three

Together with the 7 ingredients, I had devised quite an extensive pantry list of ingredients the participants could use – based on the original challenge I did, and I asked each blogger to add an ingredient. These were as follows:

  • Milk/Cream
  • Eggs
  • Flour (or a flour substitute)
  • Lemons
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Chillies
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Dried Herbs
  • Dried Spices
  • Sugar (or a sugar substitute)
  • Butter/margarine
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil – any of your choice
  • Vinegar
  • Pasta / Noodles / Rice
  • Tinned Tomatoes
  • Tinned Chickpeas
  • Chocolate / Cacao
  • Stock

For starters I decided to do a turnip and spinach soup. This was easy, and perfect for the night I decided to make my ready steady cook meal, as the heatwave had broken and it was raining.

"Turnip And Spinach Soup"

Turnip And Spinach Soup

Turnip And Spinach Soup
  • 10mls olive oil
  • 1 large turnip cut up into a large dice
  • 250mls stock
  • 250mls water
  • 0.625mls ground nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 80g baby spinach
  1. heat the oil over a medium heat in a soup pot
  2. add the turnips and stir well, until they are starting to cook
  3. add the stock, the water, the nutmeg and the seasoning
  4. bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. blend until smooth
  6. add the spinach and bring back to the boil
  7. blend again, adjust the seasoning and serve

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

To see what all the lovely challengers did, click the linky below


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The Versatile Blogger Award – take five

My cup runneth over! Natalie, who blogs at What We Ate Today has awarded me The Versatile Blogger Award.

This is the fifth time I am getting this award and I really am grateful. I love reading Natalie’s blog to see what she had for her meals!

The conditions for this award are:

  • You must thank the person who awarded you by linking back to their post
  • You have to list 7 interesting things about yourself
  • You have to pass the award on to 15 other new or newly discovered blogs

More trivial information about me: (and if I have repeated any, apologies)

  1. My scars include a scratch on my knee from Nursery School when my best friend Roz and I ran away. We got as far as her Dad’s office which was on the same grounds as the school
  2. I have assisted in a laser surgery to fix someone’s sight and it was the most amazing thing to be a part of
  3. I have finally conquered my trepidation of making panna cotta and I am not sure why I waited so long
  4. We are planning our trip to Italy for 2013
  5. I am planning on adding kidneys to the list of ingredients to try this year
  6. I am building a tortoise sanctuary for Stanley who keeps getting attacked by Molly
  7. I want to grow a sustainable garden when the builders are done

For now, I am not passing this along. As I discover new blogs during the year I will do so! But I think the people on my blog roll are all so versatile, so please click the link on my tool bar and pick just one new blog to visit today – tell them Tandy sent you and maybe you will make a new friend :)


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Recipe For Tangzhong Bread

The year has started with an interesting challenge for those of us who participate in Fresh from the Oven. This month, Silvia and Ivan from mushitza set the challenge and it was for a bread I have never heard of before. In fact, I am not sure how one even pronounces this? A real challenge indeed. The challenge continued throughout the bread making process. The cooking of the tangzhong took me 45 minutes of stirring and with my sublocated rib, this was a challenge indeed. The next challenge was the issue of room temperature. The Western Cape has been in the throws of a heat wave, and the room temperature in my house has been over 30 Deg Celsius – too hot for anything and not at all what Europeans would consider room temperature. Following that challenge, my tangzhong only weighed in at 85g and I needed 120g for the recipe, plus extra for glazing. I was worried the bread would not work out – but it did, so that challenge was achieved. Then, I did not have a loaf tin – I had forgotten to buy one and made the bread in my cake tin. This worked for the bread, but as the top rose so nicely, it does not cut perfectly. I am off today to get a loaf tin. The recipe below is my adaption of the one we were given.

"Tangzhong Bread"

Tangzhong Bread


Tangzhong Bread
for the tangzhong:
  • 30g flour
  • 150mls cold water
for the bread:
  • 125mls milk
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 350g bread flour
  • 55g sugar – I used fructose
  • 5g salt
  • 120g tangzhong – or less if that is what yours makes
  • 1 egg
  • 30g butter, melted and cooled
for glazing:
  • the rest of the tangzhong or milk, if yours does not make more than 120g
for the tangzhong:
  1. whisk together the flour and the cold water until there are no lumps
  2. cook over low heat, stirring all the time, until the temperature reaches 65º Celsius
  3. allow the tangzhong to cool down at room temperature before using it
for the bread:
  1. dissolve the yeast in the milk
  2. combine the flour, sugar and salt
  3. add the milk, tangzhong and the egg
  4. use a stand mixer equipped with the dough hooks to mix all the ingredients into a soft dough
  5. add in the butter
  6. knead in the mixer for 25 minutes
  7. to test if the dough is ready: take a small piece of dough and stretch it to a very thin membrane before it tears
  8. cover the bowl and leave it to prove for one hour
  9. knock the dough back on a lightly floured surface
  10. give it a quick knead just to let the gas escape, then form it as desired
  11. transfer to buttered loaf pan for bread or a lined sheet pan for rolls
  12. cover with cling film and allow to prove for one hour
  13. preheat the oven to 180º Celsius
  14. brush on the rest of the tangzhong or the milk
  15. bake for 25 minutes until nicely golden
  16. remove from the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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My plan for this year was to post my herb / spice post on a Wednesday – but this week I was so busy I pushed through a post I had ready to go in my draft folder. Not wanting to miss out a week, here is the post!

Garlic is divided into two groups: softnecks which contain all the common garlic varieties; and hardnecks which contain the remarkable serpent garlic. It produces tall, sinuously looping stems with a head of bulbis mixed with miniature plants. Below ground it forms a bulb of 4 to 14 cloves. Ramsons garlic is an intensely garlic scented species and both the leaves and bulbs are used. Russian garlic develops a large basal bulb comprising several huge cloves. Wild garlic has garlic flavoured foliage, small garlic flavoured bulbs and nodding umbels of attractive starry white flowers. In the area where I live, we have a lot of snakes and I have planted wild garlic to dissuade them from visiting my garden.

photograph sourced from Wikipedia

Garlic requires a well tilled and weed free soil, good drainage and a sunny position. Propagate garlic by by planting cloves vertically, with the pointed tip covered with about 2.5cm of soil. Regular weeding is essential, particularly in the earlier stages of growth. Do not over water and do not use chemicals. Companion plant together with orange marigolds.

Use the foliage fresh. Choose a sunny day to pull the bulbs and then leave them for a few days to dry out. Store in a dry, well ventilated area.

"Wild Garlic Growing In My Garden"

Wild Garlic Growing In My Garden

Garlic compliments almost any savoury dish and goes well with most culinary herbs and spices. It is an essential ingredient in many cuisines, especially Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Caribbean. Try out this simple pickled garlic recipe. Choose firm bulbs that are not sprouting and that are tightly encased in their husks. Peeled garlic should be creamy white. Remove any areas of discolouration before using, as these will impart a rank taste to the dish. When peeled, then sliced or chopped, the enzymes within a clove of garlic react on exposure to air to produce a strong, lingering, sulphurous aroma. The flavour of garlic is similarly strong and sharp, and gives the impression of heat on the palate. The more finely it is crushed or chopped, the stronger the garlic’s aroma becomes. When cooked properly, the flavour is mellow and sweet. Try baking a whole head in foil and then squeeze out the contents of the cloves. This mellow, creamy paste is delicious spread on bread or cooked meats or stirred through mashed vegetables. Take care when cooking garlic – if it is cooked over too high a heat it will burn, becoming bitter and taste unpleasant. Even a tiny amount of burnt garlic will permeate and spoil a whole dish.

Garlic is used raw in aïoli and tapenade. Crushed garlic mashed into butter is a delicious and simple sauce for cooked meats, or it can be spread on sliced bread, wrapped in foil and baked in a medium hot oven for 10 minutes to make garlic bread. Push slivers of garlic into slits in a joint of lamb or pork or put a few cloves inside the cavity of a chicken before roasting.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs


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Recipe For Star Anise Dusted Venison

I started blogging in September 2009 and I can see such a huge movement in where my blogging has gone since the beginning. At first, my blog was all about my recipes. I did not even take photographs. All I wanted to do was share my recipes. I was not a writer, just a cook. I then moved along to taking photographs with my cell phone and the next step was to get myself a camera and a tripod. My blog is still all about my recipes, but now along with a list of ingredients and what to do with them, I share my thoughts, musings and memories. I edit my photographs and add my name to them – one because I am proud of how my photographs continue to improve and two because I want to stop other people scraping my photographs as has happened in the past. One of the things I am most proud of is that I have been asked by Woolworths to write blog posts for them, with recipes. In January I wrote about grapes. This recipe was inspired by the fact that Woolworths do such lovely venison. I decided to pair the sweet red grape variety, Flame, with some venison fillet. Given that venison and grapes are complimented by star anise I used this as the flavour base for my dish. This spicy meat will go well with a glass of Shiraz.

"Star Anise Dusted Venison With Red Grapes"

Star Anise Dusted Venison With Red Grapes

Star Anise Dusted Venison With Red Grapes
  • 1 star anise
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 venison fillet
  • 15g butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 80mls red wine
  • 100g red grapes, halved
  1. use a spice grinder to grind the star anise, peppercorns and salt into a fine powder
  2. pat dry the venison and rub the spices over the meat
  3. heat the butter and the olive oil in a frying pan
  4. when the pan is hot cook the venison 2 minutes per side
  5. add the red wine and then remove the venison and leave it to rest
  6. add the grapes and allow the sauce to thicken
  7. you do not want to grapes to break down too much
  8. slice the venison and pour the sauce over the venison


Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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Recipe For Green Curry Paste

If I could categorize my personality by using flavours, then I would be a citrus person. I love all things citrus, whether in fruit, scent or flavour. My favourite citrus is limes – to use with an ice cold margarita  or even to clean my fridge with. So, when making a green curry paste I tend to make sure it is ‘heavy’ on lime. This recipe below is exactly that – it has the wonderful lime scent and the strong chilli flavour is complimented by the soft notes the lime brings to the party. This recipe is a combination of the one out of my Curry recipe book, and the one given to me by Alvin Quah. You will never use all of this paste at once, but you can make it and store it in the fridge to use each time you want to make a green curry. Just fry a few teaspoons of the paste before adding it to your chosen ingredients.

"Green Curry Paste"

Green Curry Paste


Green Curry Paste | Kreaung Geng Geng Gwio Warn
  • 10mls coriander seeds
  • a few blades of mace
  • 15mls dried red chillies
  • pinch of salt
  • 5mls turmeric
  • 2.5mls white pepper
  • 5mls ground cumin
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 15mls galangal paste
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, chopped
  • 6 green chillies, deseeded
  • 30g coriander, stalks and leaves
  • 15mls ginger, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 5mls shrimp paste
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 30mls fish sauce
  • 15mls canola oil
  1. start by dry roasting the coriander seeds and the mace
  2. when you can smell the spices add all the ingredients into a blender
  3. blend to a smooth paste, pushing down the sides a couple of times

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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Recipe For Crayfish Ravioli With A Bisque Sauce

Like most countries in the world where commercial fishing exists, the recreational fisherman is the one to suffer from a lack of fish close inshore and from the fact that the commercial fisherman get the majority of what is available in our seas. This is a two sided coin for us as a lot of our friends are commercial fisherman, and they rely on quota’s and the weather for their income. At the same time, we fish for recreational purposes. 30 minutes by sea from Gordons Bay where we live is a bay full of crayfish. The commercial fisherman can go everyday and take out crayfish much smaller than the recreational permit allows. Ten years ago, the season for the recreational catchers was from the 15th of November, everyday until the end of January, and then weekends and public holidays, until the end of April. This year our recreational season opens on the 15th of November and we can go out everyday (weather permitting of course) until the 15th of January, and then we can only go out again over the Easter weekend. We are allowed four crayfish per person on the boat, with a maximum of 5 people per boat. So, we can basically catch 20 crayfish per trip. We are allowed out once per day with time constraints. The license for catching crayfish is extremely cheap (R94 – less than €10) but there are costs involved in going out fishing, which means that even though we have easy access to this luxury, it is not a cheap meal. It is however cheaper than if we were to buy the crayfish that the commercial fisherman catch – and they come back with thousands a day. When the season was longer I used crayfish in my macaroni and cheese but now, I take care to make a special meal with the crayfish. This is one of those meals. You can substitute the crayfish for any shell fish, so use whatever is easily accessible to you.

"Crayfish Ravioli With A Bisque Sauce"

Crayfish Ravioli With A Bisque Sauce

Crayfish Ravioli With A Bisque Sauce
for the pasta:
  • 200g pasta flour
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
for the filling:
  • meat from 2 crayfish tails
  • 10g parsley, chopped
  • 1 small chilli, seeds removed
  • 1 egg yolk (keep the white for sealing the ravioli)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
for the bisque sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 carrot, cut in a small dice
  • 2 crayfish tail shells
  • 60mls white wine
  • 125mls stock
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cream
for the pasta:
  1. mix the ingredients to form a dough and knead for 10 minutes
  2. add more flour if too sticky, and water if too dry
  3. roll into a ball, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour
  4. roll the dough out to number 6 on a pasta machine
  5. cut out your ravioli shapes ready for the filling
  6. lightly dust with flour
for the filling:
  1. place all the ingredients into a blender and mix into a smooth mousse
  2. to make the ravioli:
  3. place one teaspoon of the mousse in the centre of each disc
  4. lightly beat the egg white and brush along the edge of the disc
  5. place a second disc on top of the disc that has filling on it
  6. seal properly, ensuring you get all the air out
  7. cook in boiling salted water for 3 minutes once you have added the cream to the sauce
for the bisque sauce:
  1. heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the shallots, celery and carrots
  2. allow onions to soften
  3. add the shells to the pan
  4. when the shells change colour add the wine and the stock
  5. leave to simmer until the sauce has reduced by half
  6. allow to cool and blitz the ingredients until they are well blended
  7. put the teaspoon of oil into the pan
  8. soften the garlic and add back the crayfish mix
  9. add the water and bring to the boil
  10. pass the ingredients through a chinois
  11. clean out the pan and add the sauce back
  12. leave to simmer for 5 minutes
  13. add the cream and allow to thicken
Cooks Notes
I served the dish with grilled courgettes and micro leaves

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by  Emma of Soupier 


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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 21

Here is another quiz that I am transferring off my other blog.

1. What is a liqueur?

an alcoholic syrup distilled from wine or brandy and flavoured with fruit, herbs or spices. (my favourite at the moment is Angels Share) 

2. What is the difference between bacon, pancetta and prosciutto?

bacon is the fat and lean meat from the side and back of the pig which has been preserved by dry salting and is usually smoked as well. It is sold in thick or thin slices. pancetta is unsmoked bacon from the belly of a pig, cured with spices, salt and pepper. it is sold rolled into a sausage shape and is served thinly sliced. prosciutto is an Italian ham from the hind leg of the pig, usually rubbed with salt and other dry seasonings and matured for 8 to 10 months. it is usually served wafer thin. the best known is Parma ham.

3. What is dragon fruit?

a cactus fruit

4. What is Devonshire cream?

clotted cream which is served with scones and jam – a specialty in Devon and Cornwall. Enjoyed by Dave and I in Widicombe in the Moor


5. What do you call béchamel sauce to which eggs and Gruyère have been added?

I know that a mornay sauce is with cheese, and a croque madame is a croque monsieur with egg, but not sure what only has eggs and cheese.

6. Are peanuts, nuts?

peanuts are ground nuts and are the edible seed of a legume. they are not nuts

7. From which country does pasta originate?

egg pasta is associated with Northern Italy, pasta with durum wheat flour is from the south of Italy. however, lurking at the back of my head is a fact that China may be where pasta originated.

8. Cumin seeds are actually not really seeds. What are they?

it is the fruit of the plant

9. How should meat be sliced?

parallel to the bone, across the grain

10. What is lavabread?

I’ve been watching the Hairy Bikers – a Welsh bread made from seaweed!


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Recipe For Pork Patties

I realized when I made my lamb burgers that lamb is far too expensive to make patties from for everyday, general consumption. Straight away I had another recipe in mind, but as with most things in my life, time ran away with me. Before I knew it, Dave turned 60 and we had a week long celebration, my sister left for Australia which meant another trip to Johannesburg and the burger patty competition winner was announced. A sirloin burger has won the competition but to me, that is just another meat patty. I kept my recipe in the back of my mind and had actually decided to make sausages out of the meat instead. But, I still have not got sausage casings, and the pork pieces came out of the freezer for eating. I have used pork as my basis for the patty, and as I am all about healthy eating at the moment, I made small patties, and we ate less than we would have if I had made larger ones.

"Pork Patties"

Pork Patties

Pork Patties
  • 280g pork
  • 130g bacon
  • 15mls olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 5mls dried ginger
  • 5mls dried sage
  • 5mls ground cumin
  • 5mls dried thyme
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • flour for dusting
  • 15g butter
  1. using a meat grinder, grind the pork and the bacon
  2. heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions
  3. set aside to cool
  4. add to the meat and season with salt and pepper
  5. add the spices and the egg
  6. combine all the ingredients well
  7. dust your hands with flour and shape the patties
  8. leave in the fridge for 30 minutes
  9. heat the butter in the pan you fried the onions in
  10. fry the patty on one side until sealed and flip once
  11. serve when cooked through

For conversions click here

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Recipe For Grape And Port Jelly

A few years ago, Dave and I woke up on Saturday morning to take a drive to Calitzdorp. This is the home of South African Port and we really felt like tasting some. So, we found a Bed and Breakfast, made a reservation, found someone to feed the dogs and packed our overnight bags. We headed up the pass and after lunch wound our way to a town that was closed! Not one Port establishment was open, the main road was deserted and we decided to move along. I called Michelle to see where in the Garden Route they were staying, with the thought of spending a night with her and my step gran, to be told “we are about to enter a town called Calitzdorp”. They stopped, and we had tea and Dave and I went to spend the night along the coast.

A few months ago, we decided to drive home from Wilderness via Calitzdorp and tasted some Port at 10am! It might have been a bit early, but at least we got to see the town when it was open. I came home with some pink Port and when I saw Woolworths had some pink grapes, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the grapes and the Port. I thought a nice, soft jelly would be perfect, not only for some blue cheese, but for a dessert topping too.

"Pink Grape And Pink Port Jelly"

Pink Grape And Pink Port Jelly

Pink Grape and Pink Port Jelly
  • 1 lemon
  • 225 grapes, including the stalks
  • 600mls water
  • 375g sugar - I used fructose
  • 50mls pink Port
  1. squeeze the lemon and set the juice aside
  2. chop up the peel and add it to a pan with the grapes and the water
  3. bring to the boil
  4. reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour
  5. strain through a chinois, gently pressing all the juice out of the grapes
  6. add the juice, the lemon juice, the sugar and the port into a pan
  7. cook over a low heat, stirring continuously until the sugar dissolves
  8. bring to the boil and continue boiling until it reaches setting stage
  9. this should take about 20 minutes
  10. remove from the heat
  11. skim off any scum carefully using a slotted spoon
  12. pour into a warm sterilized glass jar
  13. place a wax paper disc, wax side down on the jelly
  14. seal with a lid and store in a dark, cool place for up to 3 months

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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