#CookAlong with @Foodiction and @LifeologySA

Last night Wendi and I headed out to Foodiction in Bryanston to attend their very first #CookAlong.

We were kindly invited by Lifeology SA along with a bunch of other celebs, bloggers and foodies.

The evening entailed preparing a 3 course meal and from prep to cooking to eating it was a blast.

Chef Barry was fantastic, leading us through making the mouthwatering meal.

Chef

Im going to be making all the dishes we made over the next week or so and will blog them here.  I only hope they come out as well as they did last night.  Note: I made the fondant for dessert tonight but totally forgot to take pictures so I guess I will just have to make it again so I can blog it.  Its a yummy hard job but someone has to do it 😉

We made Salmon in Citrus Broth for starters, Chicken and Mushroom Risotto for the main course and a to die for Chocolate Fondant for dessert.  Needless to say I rolled home and slept on my back last night 😉

Foodiction is an awesome venue, catering (haha) to private functions tailor made to suit you as well as to group lessons and even kids cooking classes!  (I cannot wait to take Aaron for some lessons).

We had an amazing time and I certainly learnt a lot.  Also I managed not to chop off any fingers or stab anyone around me.  Bonus 😉

So, without further ado, here are some of the amazing photos taken by Pat Sloane (you can see the full FB gallery here).

Segmenting citrus for the citrus broth 

 

Olwagens

Jess

The gang!

Thank you to Jodene and Greg from Lifeology SA for inviting us to a fantastic evening of fun, food and laughter!

Contact Foodiction here.

Contact Lifeology SA here.

Hicken Pie

No, the title is not a mistake, just a nod to my awful spelling on Twitter when I asked Tanya to give us the recipe for this amazing chicken pie!

Below is Tanyas recipe.

Ingredients I Used:

  • 4 x chicken breasts – chopped/diced as you like them
  • 1 x onion, chopped
  • about 200g butternut – cubed into small blocks (about 1cm) – I have also added sliced baby marrows before
  • 1 punnet mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 chicken stock cube in about 350ml water
  • Spray & Cook
  • spices, herbs to taste
  • 1 roll puff pastry
  • a little milk for brushing
  • some flour

Method:

  • Heat oven to 180
  • Microwave the butternut cubes for about 4-5 minutes until they are soft
  • In a pan, fry up the chicken breats, with whatever spices you usually use for chicken (i used regular “Chicken Spice”)
  • In another big pot, brown the onions, then chuck in the mushrooms.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, add it to the onion & mushroom mix
  • Add the chicken stock and the microwaved butternut cubes.
  • Add in other spices (i used fresh thyme, and some dried mixed herbs. and salt and pepper)
  • reduce heat and simmer to thicken. I was a bit impatient and added about 2 tablespoons of flour to thicken the mixture.
  • while that is simmering and thickening, you can prepare the pastry.
  • I used a whole roll, and dived it into just over half for the base, and the other portion for the top
  • Roll out on a floured surface until pastry is about half the thickness it was.
  • Spray your pie dish with Spray & Cook.
  • Line the pie dish with the pastry, and slice off any extra bits – a pizza cutter works fabulously!
  • Once your filling mixture is thick enough, pour it into your prepared (uncooked) pastry base.
  • Roll out the other bit of pastry for the top of your pie, and pop it ontop, squeezing it tight around the edge of your dish.
  • I cut out stars and popped them on top.
  • Brush with milk.
  • pierce the top a few times with a sharp knife to let hot air escape when  baking
  • Pop into the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown on top.
  • Eat and enjoy!

special note I like to keep aside a little extra mixture and freeze it… just enough to make two little pot pies in ramekins! Yum!

Yorkshire Pudding

First off I had to find out why its called a pudding.  I mean really, pudding is sweet and suger filled and served at the end of a meal right?

Take a quick look here to see some history about it and why its called a pudding then come back and see the recipe 🙂

Yorkshire pudding is meant to accompany the roast of a main meal. It should be light and airy on the inside and crispy on the outside and should have a dip in the top (not all of mine did), they are great for soaking up extra gravy!

You will need

  • Oil or drippings from your roast
  • A Yorkshire Pudding pan (I just used a muffin pan)

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 75ml milk
  • 55ml water (note: you can use 130ml water if you dont want to use milk)
  • 75g flour (about 1/3 of a cup)

Method

You will need no less than 30 minutes to make these, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time.

  • Set the oven to 180°C
  • Place a small amount of oil (or drippings) into the bottom of each muffin cup.
  • Place tray into the oven and allow the oil to heat up, it should start to smoke a little, about 10 minutes.
  • While you are waiting mix together the egg, flour and liquid.  You should have a very thin batter.
  • Once the oil is heated remove the tray from the oven and fill each cup about 2/3.
  • Return the pan to the oven and allow to bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until they have risen and are brown and crispy.
  • Try not to open the oven door too much or they wont rise.

I used the above amounts for the ingredients and it made 8 smallish puddings.  You can increase the amounts as you need to.  Just remember that you should have (pretty much) equal amounts of eggs, flour and liquid.  I.e. 2 eggs, 260ml water/milk (2/3 cup) and 150g flour or 3 eggs, 390ml milk/water (1 cup) and 235g flour.

Philadelphia cheese sauce with peppadew, bacon and red onion

I have a big love for Philadelphia cheese…all cheese really, but Philadelphia cheese especially! Some time ago I started making this pot of yumminess and I posted it on my blog, but I figured it would be a good idea to share with the food people in the world.  So enjoy!

Ingredients:
– 3/4 block of Philadelphia cheese
– +/- 40ml Milk
– 2TBS Butter
– hand full of chopped peppadews
– bacon(as much as you want)
– Red onions(chopped, as much as you want)

Method:
– Cut the cheese into smaller pieces and put it on a low heat in a saucepan adding the milk
and butter.
– Keep stirring until the butter and the cheese have melted, but keep the heat very low,
otherwise it will burn. Add more milk depending on the thickness of sauce you require
– When the sauce is ready, add the chopped peppadew, the cooked bacon and onion, stir
– Add pasta

And Voila! Pasta with Philadelphia cheese sauce, peppadew, bacon and red onion. it’s the easiest most divine meal ever. You can also, after having mixed everything add a tad of Parmesan and Tabasco….so yummy!

A bit of this and a bit of that a la Ruby

It is a well-known fact on twitter that I tend to conjure up a whole variety of weird and wonderful dishes.  I live alone, I like weird foods and as such I’m always trying something new that sounds really weird but mostly ends in a roaring success and a repeat performance at some stage. So after tweeting my latest creation last night, Gina asked if I would like to help contribute to this here site, so here goes nothing.

I was in the mood for olives, and bacon, and peppadews and onions and rice, so that’s exactly what I ended up making:)

Ingredients:
– Bacon bits
– Chopped onion
– Pitted and chopped black Olives
– Chopped peppadews
– Rice
– Veggie seasoning
– Feta cheese
(I didn’t specify any amounts as it literally depends on how many people and how much of each you feel like)

Method:
1.  Put the rice on to boil (remember to add a bit of salt)
2.  Fry the onions and the bacon bits
3.  Once the onions and the bacon bits are almost done add the olives and peppadews
4.  Add veggie seasoning to taste
5.  Once rice is cooked add the onions, bacon, peppadew and olive mix to the rice
6.  Crumble feta into the mix
7.  Mix it all together and once your feta is melted, dish up.

Sadly I do not have a picture…I polished it off too quickly  blush .  For other variations you can use tuna instead of bacon, or add some chopped mushrooms to the mix.

Moroccan Chicken, well kind of…

I wanted to try something different tonight.  Wendi mentioned a recipe for chicken with olives and figs but couldnt find the recipe she had.  I did a google search and couldnt find a olive and fig chicken recipe that I liked so I just made one up.  Which is kind of what this blog is all about…

Ingredients

  • 1 x pack chicken portions (8 pieces)
  • 1 x bag/tin pitted black olives
  • 1 x bag/tin figs, I used tinned figs in syrup but I think fresh or dried figs would work just as well.
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Red wine
  • All spice
  • Cumin
Ready to go into the oven

Method

  • Place chicken pieces skin side up in a pyrex or similar oven proof dish.
  • Sprinkle spices over the chicken.
  • Pour stock over the chicken.
  • Add a splash of red wine.
  • Drain figs and olives and place on top of the chicken.
  • Cover the chicken with a lid or with heavy duty tin foil.
  • Place in a 180°C oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Uncover and turn chicken pieces over, cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
  • Turn chicken skin side up and continue cooking uncovered until chicken is brown.
Ready for the table

Serve with rice or couscous

This turned out really really well.  The chicken literally fell off the bones.  The olives and figs were delish and there was plenty of sauce to spoon over the rice.  I will definitely make this again!

Cornish-ish Pies

The other day I decided to do something a little different to our usual Spag Bol and this was the result.

A pie somewhat similar to a Cornish pasty.

Ingredients

  • 500g Mince ( I made my usual Bolognese style mince)
  • Large carrot, diced
  • Large potato, boiled and diced
  • 1 tin Koo baby peas (or 1 cup frozen peas)
  • Ready to roll frozen puff pastry
  • Egg (to seal pastry and brush on top of pies)
  • Flour (to roll pastry on)

Method

  • Cook your mince as if you are making Bolognese, I use a tin of onion and tomato mix, a dash of mixed herbs and a teaspoon of beef stock powder.
  • Add your diced carrots, diced potato and peas to the mince once it is cooked.  Let the veg heat through while you roll out your pastry.
  • Sprinkle a little flour on your surface and roll your pastry into a roundish circle shape( you can use a bowl or similar to cut out a shape), lay it out on a Spray&Cooked baking sheet.
  • (I found cutting the ready to roll pastry into squares made it easier to get a uniform shape, I made a little mistake and rolled out my ‘circles’ a little too small, next time I will roll bigger pieces of pastry.)
  • Once your pastry is ready, scoop out a tablespoon or two of mince and veg and place slightly off centre of the middle of your pastry.

  • Beat your egg in a glass and brush a little along the edge of the pastry.
  • Fold the bigger side of the pastry over the meat and press the edges together with a fork along the egg so they stick.

  • Prick a few small holes in the pastry with the fork to allow steam to escape and brush egg over the top.
  • Repeat until your tray is full.
  • Bake them at 180ºC for about 15-20 min or until the pastry is brown and crispy.
  • Serve with a green salad or chips.

*500g mince made about 9 smallish pies.

Army Chicken

Julia wrote a post about learning to cook and the fact that she has never made a roast chicken and it is something she really wants to try.  I immediately thought of my brother Matthews recipe for Army Chicken.  So named because in the army it is something that is really easy to cook.

So, I decided to make it for us and blog the process.

Ingredients:

  • 1 x whole chicken (no gibblets)
  • 1 x 1kg bag of course (kashering) salt

Items you will need:

  • Roasting pan
  • Heavy duty tinfoil

Turn your oven onto 180°C.

Take your tinfoil and pull out a piece about 60cm long.  Fold the tinfoil in half and half again so you have a long thin oblong of tinfoil.  Curve the tinfoil around so that it makes a circle slightly bigger than your chicken.  Place it in the middle of the roasting pan.

Open the bag of salt by cutting the tip of one corner off so that it is easy to pour.  Very slowly pour the sat around the outside of the foil ring.  Make sure that the salt doesnt go inside the ring.  Pouring slowly helps to guide the salt in the right place.  Flatten the salt so that it is spread evenly around the foil.

Place the chicken inside the foil circle.  Now here is the really easy part… do not add any spices not even salt or pepper.  I repeat, do NOT add any spices.

Place the roasting pan in the oven for between 45 min and an hour depending on the size of the chicken.

Remove the pan from the oven and leave for 10 minutes to settle.

We added a few potatoes to the pan but usually we do it without them.

This chicken turns out to be tasty and juicy despite not having any spices added.  Also, if you look at the picture above you can see that the salt has turned a slightly brown colour.  That is all the fat that has run out of the chicken and been locked away in the salt.  So not only tasty and juicy but healthy too.

Serve with rice and vegetables and most of all, enjoy!