Gobble gobble gobble

Last night, while scavenging the freezer for something to make for dinner, I found a turkey breast tucked away in the back of a draw.

I forgot I had it and we haven’t had turkey in a while so there was all kinds of excitement.

Except… I always make turkey breast in a tomato and red wine sauce and that sounded boring. So I created a new recipe.

 

Sweet Chili Turkey
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 large turkey breast. Mine was skinless and boneless but it would work with skin too.
  2. 1 medium onion, sliced into rings
  3. 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon sweet chili flakes
  5. Olive oil
  6. Lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. In a pirex dish or oven proof dish with a lid, place the turkey breast skin side up if you are using one with skin.
  3. layer the onion around and on top of the turkey.
  4. Sprinkle the garlic and sweet chili over the top of the breast.
  5. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice to taste over the breast.
  6. Cover and bake for 50 minutes.
Notes
  1. If you use a breast with skin, remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes so the skin gets crispy.
  2. The turkey came out moist and delicious and the lemon juice and olive oil made a nice sauce to pour over rice or couscous.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Mrs Balls, eat your heart out!

So a while back I mentioned that one of the things I missed from South Africa was Mrs Balls Chutney

While you can get Mrs Balls in Israel it comes at a premium since it’s a specialty import. 

So I decided to make my own. And it’s delicious!

For some reason my recipe card add on isnt working so please excuse the ugly recipe below…

Fruit Chutney Recipe

A traditional South African fruit chutney.

**The recipe requires that you leave the fruit soaking in water over night, the times below do not include the soak time*

Prep time: 20 minutes                                 Cook time:  2 hours

Yield: 6-8 small jars

Ingredients

  • 500g dried pears
  • 500g dried peach
  • 500g dried apples (I didnt have apple but I did have mango so I substituted)
  • 500g dates
  • 500g sultanas 
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon sweet chili mix

Method

  • Roughly (or finely) chop all the fruit. 
  • Place in a bowl and cover with the water. 
  • Leave over night. 
  • The next day place the fruit in a large heavy bottomed pot. 
  • Add all the remaining ingredients to the pot and mix well. 
  • Bring to the boil. 
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours. 
  • Bottle the mixture into clean glass jars while still hot. 
  • You can eat the chutney straight away but it’s better to let it mature for a few weeks (6-8 is recommended). 

Notes

  • This time I couldn’t find any dried apple in the store so I left it out. Basically you can add or leave out any of the fruits depending on availability or the taste you are looking for.
  • If you don’t have rubber sealed lids on your jars, then place some wax paper between the jar and the lid before sealing.
  • You can eat the chutney straight away but it’s better to let it mature for a few weeks (6-8 is recommended).

Its not just banana bread

So I mentioned that I bought a stand mixer the other day. Well, it arrived and so far I have made 2 batches of challah using the dough hook (NEVER kneading dough again!) as well as a batch of cinnamon muffins and on Friday I made an apple and banana bread/muffin recipe.

I have absolutely no idea what prompted me to add apples into the mix but I’m glad I did. They were amazing!

Apple Banana Bread
Yummy fresh apple and banana bread.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 large grated or finely chopped apples (I used 2 green and 1 red and left the skin on)
  2. 3 large ripe or overripe bananas, mashed
  3. 2 cups sugar (I used sugar replacement)
  4. 3 cups flour
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 2/3 cup of oil
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla (I didn't have so didn't add and it was absolutely fine)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and grease 2 loaf pans or like I did, 1 loaf pan and 2-3 muffin trays (12-18 muffins).
  2. Add all the ingredients into a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.
  3. Mix well, ensuring all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Separate batter into the desired pans and place in the oven.
  5. For loafs, bake for about 1 hour.
  6. For muffins bake for between 30 minutes and 45 minutes.
Notes
  1. The original recipe called for half a cup chopped nuts and half a cup raisins. I had neither on hand so didn't add them and the recipe came out fine. You could also add craisins or even chocolate chips to this recipe and it would be delicious.
Adapted from Food.com
Adapted from Food.com
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Yogurt = cheese. No, really!

What happens when you ask your husband to by you plain yogurt to go with your muesli and instead of coming back with the 500ml bottle you were expecting he presents you with a 3L bottle instead?

You ask FB for recipes to use up the yogurt, that’s what.

You also get some great options.

  • Fruit yogurt smoothies
  • Frozen berry yogurt drops
  • Yogurt chocolate chip muffins
  • Tsatsiki
  • Yogurt pancakes (which I made last night and were delish)
  • And a half dozen suggestions to make Labneh cheese

After doing a bit of research and buying a brand new pair of knee high stockings I set about making cheese. It was really really easy and I will definitely be making more of it!

Look closely, you can see the liquid draining out the stocking

 

Cream cheese!

 

Labneh balls rolled in sweet chili mix, rosemary & garlic mix and a few plain ones for the kids.

 

Labneh Cheese
A simple and delicious Lebanese style cream cheese
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup full cream (or high fat percentage) plain yogurt
  2. pinch of course salt
  3. cheesecloth (or a pair of new knee high stockings - I used 20 denier)
  4. a colander or large sieve
  5. a bowl big enough to fit the colander/seive
Instructions
  1. Place your colander into your bowl and then your cheesecloth over your colander.
  2. If you are using stockings, double them up and get someone to hold them open for you.
  3. Mix your salt and yogurt together.
  4. Spoon or pour your yogurt into the cheesecloth/stockings.
  5. Tie the top of the cloth/stockings closed at the top, squeezing the yogurt towards the bottom as you go.
  6. Now you can either leave the cloth/stockings in the colander as is or you can hang them above the colander and let gravity help (I hung mine from the kitchen tap).
  7. Leave your yogurt to drain for at least 24hrs, the longer you leave it the firmer the cheese will be.
  8. You can leave it out on the counter (in winter) or in the fridge if its too warm.
  9. When you are ready to unveil your cheese, give it one last squeeze to remove any residual liquid and then, over a plate, unwrap the newly formed cheese.
There are a few options once your cheese is ready
  1. You can place it in an airtight container in the fridge and use it as a plain cream cheese spread.
  2. You can roll the cheese into small balls and then roll the balls into various herb and spice mixes before placing in an airtight container in the fridge.
  3. You can roll the cheese into small balls and then place them in a glass jar with a well sealing lid. Top the balls of cheese with a high quality olive oil to preserve them. You can also add various herbs and spices to the oil to infuse the cheese with flavour.
Other options
  1. You can also add your herbs and spices to the yogurt before draining if you like which will give you a flavoured cream cheese when you are done.
Adapted from various recipes on the web
Adapted from various recipes on the web
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Soup weather

Winter, the season for soup.

So far I’ve made a pot of chicken soup and a pot of zucchini soup (requested by the boy child).

I wasnt sure about the zucchini soup. I like it roasted or as zucchini noodles but soup…?

So I searched the interwebs and found a few recipes but none really appealed to me. What did appeal to me were the recipes that had garlic in them.

So armed with a list of various recipes, a bag of zucchini, a garlic bulb and my spice rack I created my own recipe.

img_6470

 

Zucchini Garlic Soup
A mild and creamy zucchini soup.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. Oil for frying
  2. 4 large zucchini, peeled and sliced
  3. 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped (more or less per your taste)
  4. 1 red onion, diced (most recipes called for white onion, I only had red and it was perfect)
  5. 4 cups of water or vegetable stock
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. Herbs, I used basil and rosemary
  8. Ginger powder
Instructions
  1. Soak your peeled and sliced zucchini is a bowl of salted water.
  2. While that is soaking, in a large, heavy bottomed pot, lightly fry your onion and garlic until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Drain your zucchini and add to the pot.
  4. Heat until the zucchini starts to soften.
  5. Add your water or stock and bring to the boil.
  6. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and add your salt, pepper, herbs and ginger to taste. If you are using water, add more, if you are using stock add less.
  7. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.
Notes
  1. Serve hot with slices of olive bread.
  2. This soup has a very subtle flavour. Next time I will probably add a bit of sweet chili powder for a bit of a kick.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Dairy Free Peppermint Tart

As you all probably know, we keep a kosher home. That means that if we have a meat meal, the dessert needs to be dairy free.

This Rosh Hashanah, my brother hosted the meal, which was a feast of amazing chicken, deli roll, veggies and more, and I was making the desserts.

I really really wanted to make a Peppermint Crisp Tart (click on the link for the original recipe) but it needed to be parve/dairy free.

Fresh mint in closeup

My one issue was finding a solid slab of dairy free peppermint chocolate. Not so easy apparently. You can get After Eights but the peppermint part is soft and I didnt think that would work. I found an artisan, bean to bar, locally made chocolate but I could not get the peppermint one for love nor money. Eventually I gave in and bought plain dairy free chocolate and then found a peppermint extract to add to the cream. 

Another concern was what to swap the dulche de leche for. It had to be sweet but diary free and I came up with using Biscoff Lotus spread. I’m not sure this is available in SA but Im sure you can find some type of dairy free alternative.

All in all the dessert was a hit, everyone loved it and it was as close to a regular peppermint crisp tart as one could hope for.

Here is the recipe.

Dairy Free Peppermint Tart
A dairy free take on my traditional Peppermint Crisp Tart
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tub dairy free cream such as Rich's
  2. 1 jar Biscoff Lotus spread (or any dairy free sweet spread)
  3. 1 packet of plain biscuits
  4. 1 large slab of dairy free chocolate, broken or crumbled into small pieces
  5. A few drops of peppermint extract
Instructions
  1. Place the cream and a few drops of peppermint extract in a bowl.
  2. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks.
  3. Place a single layer of biscuits on the bottom of a large square/rectangular dish.
  4. Microwave the Lotus spread for a few seconds for easy pouring.
  5. Cover the biscuits with a layer of Lotus spread.
  6. Sprinkle half the crumbled chocolate over the Lotus layer.
  7. Add a thin layer of whipped cream.
  8. Add another layer of biscuits.
  9. Add another layer of Lotus spread.
  10. Cover with a thick layer of whipped cream.
  11. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate over the top of the cream.
  12. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Notes
  1. I used a dairy free bitter chocolate, if you really want it to taste like Peppermint Crisp then look for a dairy free 'milk' chocolate or non bitter chocolate. Personally I liked the bitter contrast to the sweet Lotus spread and the minty cream.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Just call me Jamie

A while back I got a bee in my bonnet to haul out my pasta machine and make home made pasta.

What possessed me to start the process at 6pm for dinner that night will forever be unknown.

Making pasta from scratch should never be rushed. 

Actually making the dough, is a process that can take up to half an hour. You really need to give the kneading process time. The longer you work the dough the smoother and more elastic it is. You also need to let the dough rest before rolling it.

Then, since the machine is small, you need to actually make your pasta in small batches. Rolling the pasta takes time, you need to roll the dough through each setting a few times to ensure its even. Rolling the entire ball of dough can take over an hour.

But, its worth it, Fresh pasta is delicious!

So before I give you the recipe, here are a few tips from me to you.

  1. Plan ahead. Set aside a morning or afternoon where you have at least 2-3 hours uninterrupted time. I suggest an afternoon because of tip #3 below.
  2. Don’t make pasta alone. Rope in the kids to help. Mine had a blast helping me roll out the pasta and choose which type of pasta to cut. Alternatively invite some friends around and make a day of it. Make the pasta, make the sauces from scratch, maybe even make a batch of artisan bread to go with your fresh pasta.
  3. If you go the friend route (or even the kids route), open a bottle of wine and enjoy a sip or two between rolling batches.
  4. Take a break. The kneading and then the rolling takes work. Your shoulders will get sore. This is also why you need time. Sit between batches. Maybe stop rolling the dough for a while and make one of the sauces.
  5. Take the time to let your pasta dry a bit before cooking. You can cook it right away, but I find letting it dry for at least 20 minutes helps the pasta maintain its shape when cooking.

pasta
Bonus tip! If you don’t have a pasta drying rack, you can use a folding clothes drying stand. Just make sure the rack is clean before you start hanging your pasta to dry!

Pasta Dough
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups pasta flour (you can use '00' fine flour or regular flour if you want, I bought a bag of flour that said pasta flour on it and it was delish)
  2. 6 large eggs
  3. A pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl or on a large, clean surface, place your flour and sprinkle the salt into it.
  2. Make a well in the middle.
  3. Crack your eggs into the well.
  4. With your hands, start bringing the flour into the eggs in the centre.
  5. Keep working the flour into the eggs from the outside in.
  6. Once the flour and eggs have become a rough ball, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading.
  7. Keep kneading the dough, adding a little bit of flour if it is too sticky until the ball starts to become smooth.
  8. You will know the dough is ready when the ball is smooth and silky and stretchy.
  9. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a cool place (or in your fridge) for about 20 minutes to rest.
  10. When you are ready to start rolling, remove a small ball of dough to work with and cover the remaining dough well before setting it aside.
  11. Follow the instructions on your machine to achieve the desired thickness and type of pasta.
  12. Once your pasta is cut, hang it immediately so it doesn't clump. You could also lay it flat on a floured tea towel.
  13. Let the pasta dry for at least 20 minutes before boiling in salted water for about 5 minutes.
Notes
  1. I had about a 3rd of the dough left and didn't feel like rolling it. I left it tightly wrapped in plastic in the fridge and rolled it out the next day and it was still easy to work with and delicious. I'm not sure leaving it for more than one day will work but if you don't have time to roll it all in one day you can definitely leave it overnight and have 2 days of fresh pasta out of one batch.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

We eat the food, then we do the things.

One of the things we decided when we made aliyah was that we were going to try live as Israelis as much as possible. In particular food. We decided to buy and eat Israeli products as much as we could. 

One, buying imported things is expensive. 

Two, support the local economy.

Three, the kids are growing up Israeli, they need to be comfortable eating foods we may not have eaten in South Africa.

All of this is not to say we don’t eat the same foods we used to eat in South Africa. I’m yet to see cottage pie on a restaurant menu but we often have it for dinner. 

Israelis also tend to eat larger, heavier meals at lunch and smaller, lighter meals at dinner time. We still eat a proper cooked meal for dinner, mostly, this summer we have tried eating lighter, smaller meals at night.

All this brings me to things that we don’t/cant buy here (there is one big store that imports food stuffs from SA and Australia and the UK, but it is hellishly expensive). Things that I miss. Things that I have asked people to bring me and that I hoard and cherish like a certain gold ring.

  • Anita mentioned on Facebook, samp, which I haven’t had in years and now have a hectic craving for. 
  • Along with samp, is a good stiff pap with tomato gravy. You can buy polenta here but its just not the same.
  • Boerewors. I’ve had locally prepared boeries but its just not the same. The meat here is very different to SA and you can tell.
  • Peppermint Crisp. Anybody who visits has to bring me at least 1 slab. 
  • Five Roses Tea. Israeli black tea is rather weak. At least that’s my opinion. I love a good cup of Five Roses. 
  • Biltong. I actually have a biltong maker, I just need to figure out what’s the best cut of meat to use so I can make some.
  • Mrs Ball’s Chutney. I dont even really like chutney but I use to use it for cooking. Maybe I should try make my own…

All in all I think we manage just fine using local products and ingredients. And I don’t really miss anything to point of agonising over not having it. But I wouldn’t say no, if someone gave me any of the above.

43958692_0366863823_o
Photo taken by Paul in 2005 (I cannot for the life of me remember which game reserve it was)

Scottish oatcakes of yumminess!

As you know, Paul is diabetic, and I am always trying to find yummy sugar free food to bake or cook for him.

Paul tends to eat a bowl of oats with fresh fruit in the mornings but its getting boring. I work with a lot of UK products and last week, Scottish oatcakes kept popping up. So I googled and found a variety of recipes and yesterday I tried out a simple Scottish oatcake recipe.

These biscuits can be used in place of bread. Spread some butter, honey, jam or cheese on top or just have them plain right out the oven!

Scottish Oatcakes
Yields 16
A quick to make, yummy biscuit. Can be served with butter, cheese, jam or as is.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 250g oats, whizzed in the blender until they become a flour consistency
  2. 25g butter, melted (I used margarine so they are dairy free, you could also use oil)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 150ml hot (not boiling) water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Set aside a bit of the oatmeal flour for later.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together until you have a rough dough ball.
  4. If its too sticky add some more oats, if its too dry add a dash of water.
  5. Dust your surface with the oatmeal flour you set aside earlier.
  6. Roll out the dough about 2-3mm thick.
  7. Take a clean glass and cut out rounds.
  8. You can re-roll the scraps until there is nothing left.
  9. Place rounds on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. These were delicious fresh out the oven with a bit of butter.
  2. If you are not using them right away you can warm them up in the oven for a few minutes before serving although they are just as delicious cold.
  3. Store them in an airtight container.
Adapted from Penny's Recipes
Adapted from Penny's Recipes
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Peanut butter ice cream

I usually make ice cream in my churner but that requires some forethought and planning and since this was a last minute decision I went will a ‘no cook’ ice cream. 

image

Basic ice cream recipe with peanut butter
A simple 'no cook, no churn' dairy free ice cream
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 box dairy free cream
  2. 4 eggs separated
  3. Half cup caster sugar (I use sugar replacement to make it diabetic friendly)
  4. Splash of vanilla
  5. Any addition you like I.e.
  6. Peanut butter
  7. Crushed biscuits
  8. Fruit
  9. Chocolate
Instructions
  1. Whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
  2. Slowly add in sugar and blend gently.
  3. Add egg yolks and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl beat cream until about double in size.
  5. Combine both bowls together.
  6. Gently fold in your addition. I used about 3 tablespoons of sugar free smooth peanutbutter.
  7. Place in freezer proof dish, cover well and freeze for at least 2 hours.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/