Recipe For Moroccan Chicken

I have had a lot of people asking me whether getting a tagine is worth it, and all I can say is YES! You have to be prepared to spend money on ensuring that the one you get can be used on the stove top as well as in the oven. This way you will know you are getting the best value for money. I decided to purchase a Le Creuset Tagine for the quality of the product and I have not looked back.

Le Creuset Cherry Tagine Recipe For Moroccan Chicken

Le Creuset Cherry Tagine

I have used this as a traditional tagine, to make a tarte tatin, as well as for making breakfast. The most amazing thing about a tagine is that it behaves like a slow cooker and so it is both versatile and pretty to look at. The heavy cast iron base is perfect for searing and stewing and it can be used in the oven if you want to make a pie in one dish. The tagine is good enough to go from the kitchen to the table so that you can serve your meal in the traditional North African manner. I use my tagine at least once a week, and if you are only going to buy one Le Creuset item, then I would suggest that the tagine be on top of your list!

Moroccan Chicken Recipe For Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan Chicken
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon white cardamom pods
  • ⅛ teaspoon lavender petals
  • 4 chicken pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lemon infused olive oil
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 4 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  1. using a pestle and mortar grind together the cumin, thyme, cardamom and lavender
  2. remove the cardamom husks and rub onto the chicken
  3. heat the oil and brown the chicken
  4. add the onion, white wine and tomatoes
  5. when the wine starts bubbling, season and add the chicken stock
  6. cover and simmer for 40 minutes


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Recipe For Smokey Chicken

I did a post on poached crayfish, and straight away someone wanted to know if I was handcuffed and waiting in shackles, after having poached the crays! The crays of course were legally caught, and poached in stock! So, I hope he is not going to wonder if I smoked the chicken! Seems titles can be confusing sometimes but this is what I originally called the dish when I made it in April. The smokiness comes from the smoked paprika I used. This spice does not get used that often in my kitchen but every now and then it makes an appearance when I feel like a Spanish twist to my meals. Hopefully my new friend Chica Andaluza does not think I am being too hopeful by imagining that a little bit of paprika can transport me to Spain!

Smokey Chicken Recipe For Smokey Chicken

Smokey Chicken

Smokey Chicken
  • 15mls olive oil
  • 4 chicken pieces
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 140g button mushrooms, quartered
  • 160g whole baby plum tomatoes
  • 250mls dry white wine
  • 5mls dried marjoram
  • 5mls turmeric
  • 2.5mls smoked paprika
  • 250mls frozen peas
  • 5mls arrowroot
  1. heat the olive oil in a pot or tagine
  2. season and brown the chicken pieces
  3. remove and set aside while you cook the mushrooms
  4. add the tomatoes and the wine
  5. when the wine has come to the boil adjust the seasoning and add back the chicken
  6. add the herbs and spices
  7. cover and simmer for 40 minutes
  8. remove the lid and add the peas
  9. using 2 tablespoons of the gravy, mix in the arrowroot
  10. add back to the pot and allow the sauce to thicken


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Recipe For Hake With Anchovy Butter

We have been given the most beautiful, huge pieces of hake and as this fish can take on so many wonderful flavours, I decided to make use of the anchovy butter with olives and caper berries to sauce it up.

Hake With Anchovy Butter Olives And Caper Berries Recipe For Hake With Anchovy Butter

Hake With Anchovy Butter, Olives And Caper Berries

Hake with Anchovy Butter, Olives and Caper Berries
  • salt
  • hake fillets
  • 15g butter
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 10 olives, depipped
  • 10 caper berries
  • 10g anchovy butter
  1. salt the skin of the hake
  2. heat the butter in a frying pan and sauté the shallot and the garlic
  3. place the hake in the pan skin side down
  4. when cooked turn, and add the olives and caper berries
  5. serve with the anchovy butter


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Chilli has been a part of the South American diet for 7000 years! Chilli varieties are the world’s most frequently used culinary spice and the heat is mostly concentrated in the seeds and the white pith.

chilli bush Chilli

© chilli bush

All chilli varieties require good drainage, full sunshine and an enriched soil. Do not grow chillies where related species of the family, such as tomatoes and eggplants, have recently been grown. Chillies require a minimum growing season of 3 months. In cooler areas, grow seedlings under protection before planting them out after the last frost. the flowers are self pollinating and they also ready cross pollinate. Pick the chillies at any time but remember that they reach peak heat when they turn red. Unripe chillies are green, but when ripe they may be red, yellow, purple or almost black. The heat level varies from negligible to off the scale! Generally, the smaller the chilli, the hotter it will be.

Indian, West Indian, African and Asian cuisines are almost unthinkable without chillies yet they were almost unknown in these parts of the world until after 1492 when Columbus introduced them from the New World. All species of chillies are indigenous to South America. Capsaicin is fat soluble which means that the addition of yoghurt to a dish will cool it down. Choose firm, shiny fresh chillies and avoid those that are wrinkled. Green chillies are always used fresh and red chillies can be used fresh or dried. Dried chillies are fruitier and sweeter even though they retain their heat. You can preserve fresh chillies in vinegar, or dry them at home for later use.

Chilli condiments include paprika, cayenne, Tabasco, Peri Peri and Mole Poblano. Dishes using paprika include Crayfish Goulash and using chillies you can try sweet chilli sauce or harissa.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs


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Broad Bean and Gravadlax Pasta

Summer has come to pay us a visit in the Western Cape. It is the middle of winter and yet we are walking around wearing t-shirts and shorts (well, some of us are). I have used this beautiful warmth to bath the dogs outside. I am catching as much Vitamin D as possible. My garden has not cottoned on to this and finally the herbs are dying away. My sugar bush is all but a stalk in the ground and my tarragon is at the end of its summer bounty. My lavender however is the most amazing purple colour and I have started picking the flowers to add to some salt for Christmas presents. The nights are not echoing the summer days, they are cold and the grass is full of dew. Wet puppy paw prints follow me around the kitchen. Molly is so little her entire body is catching the dew. Warm comforting food is on the menu, and this meal made in summer would be welcome right now.

c2a9 broad bean and gravadlax pasta Broad Bean and Gravadlax Pasta

© broad bean and gravadlax pasta

Broad Bean and Gravadlax Pasta
  • 140g broad beans (fava beans)
  • 15g butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon infused olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 baby leeks, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 185g gravadlax
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  1. boil the beans in salted water for 3 minutes and remove
  2. use this water and start cooking your pasta once you have podded the beans
  3. in a large frying pan, heat the butter and the oil
  4. sauté the celery, leeks and garlic until soft
  5. add the gravadlax and the beans
  6. when heated add the crème fraîche
  7. season to your taste
  8. add the dill and the cooked pasta and mix in thoroughly

See here for my gravadlax recipe.

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Ruth from Once Upon A Feast


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In My Kitchen – August 2011

July is my birthday month, and so there are lots of new things in my kitchen:

I received a promotional copy of Baked & Delicious and I have already made lebkuchen from the magazine.

c2a9 baked delicious1 In My Kitchen   August 2011

© baked & delicious

My friend Karola gave me this:

c2a9 chalk board serviettes and fridge magnets In My Kitchen   August 2011

© chalk board, serviettes and fridge magnets

Erica and Ilanda gave me this:

c2a9 hidden valley olive oil In My Kitchen   August 2011

© hidden valley olive oil

I bought this from Cindy as she got two by mistake:

c2a9 infinity table In My Kitchen   August 2011

© infinity table

for those of you who don’t know, we live in our garage which has been converted into a cottage. Space is limited and things have to find the best home they can!

Dave and his Mum got me this:

c2a9 kitchen aid pasta attachment In My Kitchen   August 2011

© kitchen aid pasta attachment

and my sister got me this:

c2a9 kitchen aid sausage stuffer attachment In My Kitchen   August 2011

© kitchen aid sausage stuffer attachment

I made some kumquat atchar from a recipe on the foodmonger’s blog

c2a9 kumquat atchar In My Kitchen   August 2011

© kumquat atchar

My friend Dena got me this:

c2a9 le creuset spoon spatula In My Kitchen   August 2011

© le creuset spoon spatula

my friend Anna got me these – I always need more measuring spoons than I have:

c2a9 measuring spoons In My Kitchen   August 2011

© measuring spoons

I ordered an Alice Waters book from excus1ves online and I won this for ordering!

c2a9 the flavor bible In My Kitchen   August 2011

© the flavor bible

Thanks Celia for inspiring me to share my kitchen icon smile In My Kitchen   August 2011


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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 61

We were away for the weekend and so I am only getting to the quiz this morning. Thanks Pink for all the hard work that goes into this quiz icon smile Fridays Food Quiz Number 61

1. What is a Fraisier?

Thanks to all the blog posts last week, I know this refers to a cake, and not the TV sitcom

2. What does the cooking terminology “Balloutine” means?

This was the Top Chef quick fire challenge this Saturday night, and the same dish I had for my 40th. A ballotine is a protein that has been boned, stuffed and rolled and is then poached or braised. 

3. What is the difference between a Sorbet and a Granita?

A Sorbet is made from sweetened water and a purée of fruit to which you can add alcohol. A citrus or savoury sorbet is often served as a palate cleanser. A granita, which is similar to a sorbet in ingredients has a coarser texture. 

4. What toxin in potatoes causes it to turn green when exposed to sunlight?

Something that happens to mine quite often! Solanine?

5. What is the meaning of the term “tartness”, when describing a taste?

Something that is sour?

6. What is a Biscuit Joconde Imprime/Entremet?

a decorative cake consisting of many layers

7. Fennel is native to which countries?

Greece and Italy

8. What is a Kulfi?

An Indian dessert which is milk based 

9. Which one of these four is not a stone fruit? Peach, Pomegranate, Mango or Cherry?


10. What is Elachi more commonly known as?



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Getting To Know More About Each Other

My friend Mandy who blogs over at The Complete Cook Book has devised a list of questions in order for us to get to know each other a little better.

1.  What is your favourite non-alcholic drink?


2.  What is your favourite alcoholic drink?

Red wine

3.  What is your favourite food?

Roast Chicken

4.  What is your least favourite food?

Over ripe tomatoes are not my favourite, and I do not like green peppers or cooked pineappple.

5.  What do you eat that others think is really weird?

I like to suck the heads of prawns

6.  What is your favourite thing to cook/bake?

I love to bake my simple cake and I will cook pasta any night!

7.  If you could only chose one, would it be sweet or savoury?


8.  What time do you usually eat your dinner during the week?

I start to get everything ready when the news starts at 19h00 and we are done by the time the weather is finished around 19h30

9.  What kitchen item/s have you never owned?

A pressure cooker

10. What tip would you give to a newby cooker / baker?

Use the best possible ingredients you can afford and buy top quality products!

11. What is the best vegetarian dish you have eaten?

I was a vegetarian for a long time and I used to make a stuffed teenage marrow that was really tasty!

12. What is the easiest meal you can cook?


13. If you could only grow 3 herbs in your garden, what would you grow?

Rosemary, Thyme, Flat Leaf Parsley

14. What would you use as a substitute for salt?

Herbs and spices

15. What 5 items would you pack for a quick and easy picnic or day out?

Pink Champagne, Hard Boiled Eggs, Chocolate Brownies, Vegetable Crisps, Tomatoes


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Regional and Seasonal Challenge To Use Butter And Herbs

In the Southern Hemisphere it is winter, and a week ago we were walking around in t shirts. Now, the snow has arrived in the provinces surrounding us, and I am sure we will awaken soon to snow here in the Helderberg. It is cold, we had a black south easter over the weekend, and my herb garden has finally given itself over to winter. Cooking seasonally for me means soups and stews, casseroles and slow cooked rich dishes. My friends however are cooking summer fruits and salads in the Northern Hemisphere!

the challenge this week is to cook something using: butter and herbs

Remember there is no end date to this challenge! Please link back to my blog if you take part in the challenge and leave me a comment here so that I can include you in the round up.


Cindy has made use of roast chicken, which you will always find in her fridge. Pink has made chocolate and dried Turkish apricot muffins.

I want to say a special thank you to JamieAnne. Your post from Thursday really touched me!

ps we are going away today for the weekend and I might miss some posts for the challenge – you will be in next week’s round up icon smile Regional and Seasonal Challenge To Use Butter And Herbs


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Saffron Potatoes Recipe

In my opinion, there is no reason to save something for a rainy day. Why keep the best crockery for special guests? Or your best dress for a special occasion? In my life, each day is treated as special. I apply this same philosophy to my cooking. If you are going to spend money on spices you need to use them. They will go stale if they sit in your cupboard adding colour to your shelves. They need to be used so that the full fragrance and colour can be soaked up by your food. In fact, go now and throw out all the spices and herbs that have been there and not used for a year! Buy dried ingredients as you need them, date the bottle when you open them and toss them after a year. And that is being generous. Whole spices will last longer but you need to dry fry them and grind them as you need them. Remember to keep them in sealed containers and in a dark place. Sunlight and heat affect the quality of what is in the bottle. Also, don’t skimp here! You need to buy good quality products if you expect good quality meals. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice and I think along with Chanel No. 5 perfume, it is more expensive per ounce than gold! But, do not let this deter you. You need to have a small amount of saffron at hand at all times – for all sorts of dishes. You use a few strands at a time so it will last you!

Saffron Potatoes Saffron Potatoes Recipe

Saffron Potatoes

Saffron Potatoes
  • 1 boiling potato per person, halved
  • A few strand of saffron
  • 15g butter
  1. add your potatoes and saffron to a pot of cold water and bring to the boil
  2. cook until the potatoes are done
  3. drain and add the butter


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