Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Summer Salad Sensation

"We having guests on Saturday night, I would like to do a braai (BBQ), since the weather is so good. The only thing is that half the guests are vegetarians".
He says: "What? You mean they don't eat any meat? - not even chicken? Why would you want to braai - what on earth do they eat?".
She replied : "Don't worry, they'll have great food, good enough to make you want to change your life choice of carnivorism.".
He smiles : "I very much doubt that.".

So we had the braai and the vegetarians certainly didn't go without and while the carnivores enjoyed the meat, they also enjoyed the meat-free dishes too. Perhaps not enough to change their life choice, but definitely enough to surprise them that meat-free can be almost as good.

Here is one of the wonderful salads I made, which can easily be a full meal, served with some home made bread or a brie and olive focaccia.

Roast Vegetable Salad
1 Whole Aubergine sliced
1 Red Pepper seeded and sliced
3 Courgettes sliced
Olive Oil for roasting
2 handfuls Rocket leaves
Walnuts roughly chopped

2-3 Garlic Cloves
½ teaspoon Coarse salt
Juice of 1 Lemon
60ml Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
10-15ml Palm sugar (or regular sugar)
2.5ml finely ground Black Pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC
Roast the aubergine, pepper and courgettes coated in oil until soft and brown.
Make the dressing, by pounding the garlic to a paste and
then mixing the rest of the ingredients, adjust to taste.
Once the vegetables are done, pour over the dressing while hot.
Allow to cool slightly and then toss in the rocket leaves, pepper and the walnuts.
Serve at room temperature, drizzled with the dressing and optional extra walnuts .

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Crème Brûlée and Lavendar and Lime

My father has always been the "special occasion cook" in our family, Mom was the journey (wo) man, making the weekly fair - but Dad was the Sunday lunch / special day man - roast and gravy king.

Retirement for my parents, has brought with it more time to watch TV and then came the food channels. Now my Dad drops words like "caramelize" and "flambe" with the same ease as Nigella Lawson! They followed Australia MasterChef (2009) with same passion as me. We still are able to debate the merits of Poh's smile verses Chris's crispy pork and Andre's downfall of always cooking pasta - much to my hubby frustration!

The one thing Dad has been taking about since the Australia MasterChef Singapore trip is Crème Brûlée. He's been dreaming of trying this dish that every foodie talks about in hushed tones. The holy grail of desserts.

After mentioning on Twitter yesterday that I needed the ultimate recipe, I was pleased to see there are plenty of Crème Brûlée fans out there - Cindy even commented that she orders it at a restaurant to gauge the talent of chef.

One of my favourite bloggers and supporter's Tandy Sinclair from Lavender and Lime sent me her recipe for Crème Brûlée.

It's so simple to make, all you need is patience to bake it and then wait for it to chill. It is soft and creamy, pure decadence. Please go visit Tandy Sinclair from Lavender and Lime for the Crème Brûlée. recipe, you will not find a anywhere.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Butter Bean Butter Boom

We've had a hard few days in our household this week, hence the fact that I only have one post this week. My Keith had double knee surgery and is recovering on the couch, unable to bend his knees. It's amazing how you can take a body part for granted until it's out of action and then you're literally floored!

Meatless Monday became a trip to the Spur (a local steak house), Tuesday was something re-heated (after fetching my patient from the hospital) but by Wednesday I just had to have something healthy - my body was screaming from all the junk from the last few days.

I always have a tin of butter beans (Lima beans) in the pantry. They are my favourite standby for just about any meal - from butter bean mash to plain in a bowl with salt and olive oil. The creamy sweetness filled with goodness, opening the tin makes me feel healthy!

This simple butter bean, grilled vegetables and harissa paste salad was so good, I wish I  had made more.

Butter Bean Salad with Harissa Paste and Grilled Vegetables
1 Tin Butter Beans (drained and washed)
10ml Harissa Paste (I used shop bought, but you can make your own)
Zest of 1 Lemon and the juice of ½ the Lemon
10ml Palm Sugar (or plain sugar)
4 Courgettes slice diagonally and char-grilled
½ Yellow or Red Pepper seeded, sliced and char-grilled
10ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10ml roughly chopped parsley
Salt and Black Pepper
Rye Bread, thinly sliced, rubbed with olive oil and grilled with the vegetables

Place all the ingredients in a bowl, expect the bread and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
Serve the salad on the hot toasted bread.
Garnish with fresh parsley.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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