Chervil

This delicious culinary herb has been used since Roman times and has a delicate flavour between tarragon and parsley. It is indispensable in French cuisine. It needs to be added raw or at the very last minute to a dish when it has been taken off the heat.

220px Anthriscus cerefolium Kervel plant Chervil

photograph sourced from Wikipedia

Chervil is an annual plant with delicate and lacy, fern like foliage that forms a low growing rosette. The tiny white flowers, borne in umbels on slender stems are followed by thin black seeds. Chervil requires good drainage and a moist soil that is close to neutral, preferably enriched with compost. Grow chervil in a lightly shaded position as excessive sun exposure will cause the leaves to burn and turn rose pink. In warm climates grow chervil in spring, autumn (fall) and winter. It has some cold tolerance and will withstand light frost.

Scatter the seeds over the soil, press down lightly and water regularly. Seedlings emerge after two weeks and plants are ready for harvesting from about 8 weeks. Chervil has a long taproot system and does not transplant well. It will not germinate in soil that is too warm. Light shade will promote lush growth and you can extend the season further by using protective cloches.

Water regularly and harvest the leaves from the outside, using scissors. Leaves can be frozen in sealed plastic bags. Chervil flowers, leaves and roots are all edible. The faintly anise flavoured leaves are most frequently used. The curly leaf variety makes a nice garnish. Its delicate flavour is destroyed by heat or drying. It goes well with glazed carrots, and in butter sauces and cream based soups. Freeze some chervil into ice cubes to add a refreshing summer taste to fruit drinks. Use in a butter with fish, meat or poultry cooked on the braai (BBQ)

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

Tandy

Top of Page

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Recipe For Crayfish Curry

It sounds so wonderful to be thought of as the first South African Master Chef. Ben introduced me as a possible contender for the South African production when I cooked with Jonathan Daddia. For those of you who have watched or are watching, Jonathan is a contender for Master Chef Australia season 2. I love the idea of competing but it could never be a reality. I cannot imagine living in a house with 23 other people. Just living with Dave is enough. And then actually sharing a room and sleeping in a single bed in a dorm style room. Oh, and did I mention sharing a bathroom with strangers? Can you imagine how my OCD personality when it comes to cleanliness could be freaked out by a stray hair, or sock! I am a neat freak in the kitchen and my cupboards and fridge are super organized. I am even tempted to sort my friends fridges out for them when I visit. I do not like mess! I would miss my routine, my dogs and most of all, I would miss my husband! I do not like to share some things, but the one thing I do share is recipe ideas. The first time I came across poppy seeds in a dish I liked, was at Pomegranate and I have shared the idea of using poppy seeds in my crayfish curry.

Crayfish Curry With Poppy Seeds Recipe For Crayfish Curry

Crayfish Curry With Poppy Seeds

Crayfish Curry With Poppy Seeds
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 2.5cm piece root ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 125g rosa tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tin coconut cream
  • 2 crayfish tails, cut into chunks
  • salt for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Small handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Method
  1. heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan and add the onion
  2. sauté until soft and then add the ginger, garlic and chilli
  3. add the canola oil to ensure the onions do not colour
  4. in a pestle and mortar, blend the cardamom, coriander, cloves, cumin and turmeric
  5. add to the onions and as soon as you can smell the spices, add the tomatoes
  6. when the tomatoes start cooking add the coconut cream
  7. allow the coconut cream to come to a gentle boil
  8. add the crayfish and adjust the seasoning
  9. add the poppy seeds
  10. as soon as the crayfish is cooked, mix through the coriander

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Tandy

Top of Page

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Baked And Delicious

I was very fortunate to be contacted by Eaglemoss Publications in connection with the new magazine about to be launched in South Africa. Baked & Delicious will feature a collection of over 400 recipes, and the publications come with a selection of silicone bakeware  to collect. Each issue consists of seven sections and these include celebration cakes; classic cakes; bread and savouries; desserts; patisserie and fancy cakes; biscuits and bakes; and better baking. Over 60 issues have been planned and each one will also include cook’s tips; origins of dishes; final flourish tips; variations; and expert advice. Each subscriber to the magazine will get a storage binder for the copies, which is important to ensure that you can store the magazines without damaging them; 3 storage tins; a cake slice; and an electronic kitchen scale. The last is an essential ‘ingredient’ to successful baking as baking is all about chemistry and ensuring your ingredients are accurately weighed out to ensure they react together properly.

If you choose not to subscribe you can purchase the magazine in your local newsagent, and then chose the issues you would like. The silicone bakeware collection will include cupcake cases; brush and spatula; loaf pans; quiche case; heart shaped moulds; cake pans; Madeleine moulds; mini-muffin cases; petit four cases; ring moulds; and icing sets.

baked delicious Baked And Delicious

baked & delicious

In the first issue a colourful collection of cupcake cases was included, and I will be testing these with my cupcake recipe and reporting back on how they work. The contents page lists the recipes you will find in the issue, together with a short description. There are 8 recipes in the first issue, as well as a better baking technique and information on how to use silicone bakeware. Each issue will be 26 pages and the magazine will be distributed every two weeks.

lebkuchen Baked And Delicious

lebkuchen

One cannot judge a good quality magazine on its glossy pages and fantastic photographs alone, so I chose a recipe that did not call for sugar to test. This way, I would be testing the recipe as is, without substitutions. I chose the Lebkuchen (page 18). I halved the recipe as I did not have enough honey to make a complete batch. The list of ingredients is concise but I would have swapped the steps in stage 1 around so that the butter and honey would be melted completely by the time I had finished measuring the dry ingredients. I do not like measuring honey in liquid measure as you can never get the honey out of the measuring container without oiling it first. I much prefer to weigh honey and so I can share with you that 100mls of honey equals 155g. The recipe did not tell me how long to leave the mixture to solidify but I went to watch a recording of Top Chef and that is about 40 minutes of viewing. I must say, I was quite skeptical about the mixture firming up and half expected to have a gloopy dough, but it firmed up properly and I could roll the biscuits out without any extra flour. I used my silpat instead of parchment paper for the baking. After 15 minutes my biscuits were nice and golden and I took them out of the oven to cool. They were soft as I lifted them off the silpat onto my wire cooling rack, but by the time they had cooled they were nice and firm. The biscuits are lovely and crunchy and the spices come through well.

If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then I can recommend that you subscribe today. Recipes that work are what will make this publication a huge success.

disclaimer – even though I received the magazine free of charge, I was not asked to write a favourable review, nor did I receive payment for this review. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

Tandy

Top of Page

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Ingredient Challenge To Use An Ingredient In A New Way

I am behind in my own challenges, and so I want to thank everyone else for doing them. I made a cake with dried fruit, but it did not work and until the adapted recipe is perfected I am not going to share it with you. The disaster effort was turned into rusks, so all was not lost. This week, the challenge is to use an ingredient you always have in your fridge in a new way. As usual, let me know you have taken part, and please link back to my blog. There is no end date!

PREVIOUS CHALLENGES ROUND UP

My email let me down with Presto Pasta Nights and I did not get Claudia who blogs as Honey From A Rock, submission for Grilled Brats With Sauerkraut And Apples On Egg Noodles. Cindy made some dried fruit tarts. Another Day has contributed her recipe for barm brack. JamieAnne has made carrot raisin bread.

Thanks all for taking part icon smile Ingredient Challenge To Use An Ingredient In A New Way

Tandy

Top of Page

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Prawns with Oak Smoked Red Bell Pepper

Sometimes, not telling the truth can be because you do not want to hurt someone. But, in my mind that is considered lying by omission. It is not really a case of “what you know won’t hurt you” as you always end up getting hurt, no matter what. Most recently I have had to keep the truth from a friend. This is not the same as keeping a secret. Keeping the truth means not telling your friend something you know. And, this is even harder when she asks you directly. I have only once been in this position before now. A lifetime ago, it seems, a friend of mine was having an affair. One day his wife, who was also a friend, asked me outright “is Andy having an affair”. I thought the telephone was not the right ‘place’ to answer the question and so I fobbed off the situation and instead asked her something else – and tried to make arrangements to see her. This was on a Friday, she had just returned from hospital and her husband was not really concerned about her and this is what sparked the little bit of self doubt. On the Monday she watched South Africa play cricket and lo and behold, in the crowds was her husband, with his girlfriend. On the Tuesday we had a long chat on the phone – we were having an awards dinner that night and their son was getting a trophy. We spoke about mundane things – like what we were going to wear. They did not arrive for the dinner and I made phone call after phone call to see what had gone wrong. Little did I know that she had committed suicide. After all my studying and working, I had missed all the signs and I was the last person to speak to her. I never got to answer her question, and I will never know if the truth might have changed things. She was an amazing mom. Her son was quite the fussy eater and so she decided with her daughter that she would eat whatever was put on the table. So, when we went for dinner, there sat the four year old daughter, eating prawns as if they were a normal part of her diet and not something ugly to be left alone.

c2a9 prawns with oak smoked red bell pepper Prawns with Oak Smoked Red Bell Pepper

© prawns with oak smoked red bell pepper

PRAWNS WITH OAK SMOKED RED BELL PEPPER

ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

15g butter

2 cloves garlic, chopped

6 prawns

salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

juice of half a lemon

1 teaspoon oak smoked red bell pepper

method:

heat the oil and the butter in a frying pan

add the garlic and sauté until soft without browning them

add the prawns and season

add the lemon juice and the smoked red pepper

toss well in the sauce to make sure they are nicely coated and evenly cooked

Printable Version

Tandy

 Top of Page

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Recipe For Lemon Icing

My cinnamon buns called for lemon icing but unfortunately this was not going to happen in my household. Ordinarily I use a product called sugalite to make icing with, but the last batch I purchased did not work. I used it to make a sugar free pavlova and threw out 6 egg whites and 300g of sugalite. This product costs R324 per kg so you can imagine my delight. Thinking I had made an error I was not too concerned about making butter icing a few weeks later – 250g of butter and a kilo of sugalite later, I had no icing and a sense of humour failure. I wrote a letter of complaint and Shirley Peak who is the home economist for Huletts called me and basically told me I did not know what I was doing! She promised to get back to me after the weekend and two months later I had not heard from her. I sent another email, and this one landed on the desk of Natalie Marais. She collected the remaining 700g of product and I have been sent 10 packets to use. Shirley called again and her words to me “I deal with so many complaints I cannot remember yours” left me speechless. So, unless I can find a suitable substitute for icing sugar, butter icing is not going to be a part of my baking for a while.

cinnamon buns Recipe For Lemon Icing

cinnamon buns

Lemon Icing
 
Ingredients
  • 250mls icing sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
Method
  1. sift the icing sugar into a bowl
  2. mix in the zest and juice until you have a slightly runny icing
Cooks Notes
what I did: I melted 85g white sugar free chocolate and added 2 drops of lemon essential oil

For conversions click here
Tandy

Top of Page

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Recipe For Gorgonzola Mushrooms

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog will know that I really need routine. And part of that routine has been writing down my recipes every night. I used to keep a food diary and it evolved with this blog to a recipe diary. I am so far behind in putting the recipes from my notes onto my blog that I have in fact stopped jotting down recipes every night. This has been quite liberating as I can just cook comfort food. And, Dave is also cooking which has been wonderful for me. It has been a mini time out. With that in mind, I will share with you the fact that I made this dish for Gorgonzola mushrooms on the 25th of February! My mid year sojourn will at least mean that sometime in the near future I will be blogging ‘current recipes’ and not ones that appear to be out of season, or with photographs taken in haste.

Gorgonzola Mushrooms Recipe For Gorgonzola Mushrooms

Gorgonzola Mushrooms

Gorgonzola Mushrooms
 
Ingredients
  • 6 rashers bacon
  • 100g Gorgonzola
  • 4 steak mushrooms, stalk removed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 20mls basil pesto
Method
  1. preheat the oven to 200° Celsius
  2. cut up the bacon and fry in a dry pan until the fat has rendered down
  3. remove from the pan and set aside while you pan fry the flesh side of the mushrooms
  4. season the exposed side, add the cut up bacon and the gorgonzola
  5. bake in the oven for 5 minutes
  6. then put under the grill for a further 5 minutes
  7. top each mushroom with a teaspoon of the pesto

Tandy

Top of Page

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Recipe For Calamari Risotto

Usually during the Tour De France my friend Kim and I watch ‘together’. She will be in the lounge of her home in Australia and I will be in the lounge of my home in Gordons Bay. We sit with our laptops, chatting on IM and we discuss where they are, how the riders are doing and generally what has happened during our day. It is so amazing that she can be 6 hours time wise away and about 20 hours of travelling away from me. As soon as she hits the enter button on her laptop, I can read what is on her mind. So, during the tour I have been coming home to chat to her, but she has not been online. It is usually about 17h00 here when I get home, and I know that means it is bed time for her, but I miss her. In order to keep myself company, I will have to cook! A risotto is a perfect meal as it takes time to prepare everything, and there is still 35km to go of today’s tour.

Calamari Risotto Recipe For Calamari Risotto

Calamari Risotto

Calamari Risotto
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon lemon infused olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 200g Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 500mls vegetable stock, on simmer
  • 2 pinches flaked salt
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chilli, halved
  • 250g calamari
  • small handful fresh rocket, roughly chopped
Method
  1. heat the lemon infused olive oil in a large frying pan
  2. sauté the shallot and garlic, without colouring
  3. add the celery and cook until soft
  4. add the rice and stir until it starts toasting
  5. add the wine and allow the alcohol to burn off, and the rice to absorb the wine
  6. add one ladle of stock and stir until it is absorbed
  7. add a pinch of flaked salt and another ladle of stock
  8. once again stir while it is being absorbed
  9. add another pinch of flaked salt and continue to add a ladle of stock at a time
  10. you don’t need to stir all the time, but make sure you stir often and don’t add another ladle until the stock has been completely absorbed
  11. when you have one ladle of stock left, add the peas and adjust the seasoning and add the herbs
  12. now add the last ladle and check for doneness
  13. at the same time as adding the last ladle of stock, heat the olive oil and 15g butter in a separate pan
  14. add the chilli and the rest of the garlic
  15. flash fry the calamari on a high heat until done
  16. take the risotto of the heat and add 15g butter and mix in thoroughly
  17. remove the chilli from the calamari
  18. top with the calamari, the pan juices and garnish with the rocket

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

I submitted this recipe for Presto Pasta Nights, last week to  Debbi Does Dinner but my email seems to have got lost in the ethernet, so I am sending it off to Anu of Truth Personified for this week.

Tandy

Top of Page

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Recipe For Pan Fried Fennel

After making my fennel cake I had quite a bit of fresh fennel left over and so I decided to experiment with cooking it. The first night I cooked the fennel in the griddle pan, and even though it looked good, I did not quite get it cooked enough. Fennel has a lovely anise flavour and is a key ingredient in making absinthe. Fennel is indigenous to the Western Cape and can be seen growing wild in most uninhabited tracts of land around our house. The entire plant can be used, from the bulb to the seeds. I chose some young fennel to use for this recipe, and you need to make sure that the ones you choose are firm.

Pan Fried Fennel Recipe For Pan Fried Fennel

Pan Fried Fennel

Pan Fried Fennel
 
Ingredients
  • 15mls olive oil
  • 15g butter
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 5 sundried tomatoes, sliced
Method
  1. heat the oil and the butter in a frying pan
  2. cook the fennel until soft
  3. add the sundried tomatoes and cook until warm
  4. suggestion: serve as a side dish to accompany fish

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Tandy

Top of Page

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Something Sweet Challenge: Dried Fruit

I switched my challenges around so that I could host Presto Pasta Nights and so this week, it is the turn for something sweet. I have been baking up a storm in my kitchen, first a batch of biscotti for Delheim which were taste tested by 9 people and all enjoyed them. I am going to make another batch with fructose to see how that turns out. But in the meantime, the challenge this week is to bake something using dried fruit. If you take part in the challenge, leave a comment here and link back to my blog.

PREVIOUS CHALLENGES ROUND UP

Sue has come up with an innovative way to preserve her ClemenGolds! Cindy was a bit to late with her pasta dish for the PPN round up, her dish of baked pork sausages wrapped in bacon, with fusilli and tomato gravy sounds like a perfect winter warmer.

Tandy

Top of Page

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)