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Chicken satay with kecap manis, lime leaves and peanut sauce


Ingredients:

For the satays:

  • 500g skinned boneless chicken
  • 3 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 50g shallots, finely chopped
  • 20g garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
  • 2 tsps coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper

For the peanut sauce:

Serves 4

Soak bamboo skewers in cold water for 30 minutes. Cut the chicken into 2cm x 2cm pieces.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan, add the shallots and fry over a medium heat until richly golden. Tip the oil and shallots into a small mixing bowl and leave to cool. Then stir in the crushed garlic, soy sauce, kecap manis, black pepper and kaffir lime leaves. Add the chicken, mix together well and leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Thread five pieces of chicken on to each bamboo skewer. Preheat the barbecue or grill to medium high. Brush the satay lightly with a little more oil and barbecue or grill for about six to eight minutes, turning once, until cooked through. Serve straight away with peanut sauce.


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Beef jerky is pure awesomeness. I hope you agree. If so, you’ve come to the right place, because I’ve got a lovely recipe for sweet and hot home made beef jerky for you.

Liz Hurley came up with the idea of a beef jerky diet. “Diet” makes it sound unnecessarily negative, though. Living entirely of beef jerky and losing weight at the same time? Sounds like a winner to me!

Home made smoked hot and sweet beef jerky

For making this beef jerky, you will need a smoker. We use a Brinkmann Smoke ‘N Grill which does an awesome job at smoking all sorts of meats and which can be used as a barbecue, too. If you don’t have a smoker, it’s also possible to  make jerky on a very low heat in the oven, but obviously it wouldn’t get the lovely smoked favour which makes it taste so great. Speaking of which, to get different types of smoke flavour you can use different types of wood smoking chips. We normally use the Jack Daniel ones.

Brinkmann Smoke 'N Grill smoker

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. of beef rump cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 50 ml Worcester Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tbsp crushed dried chilli
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl then put the meat strips in to marinade. Cover with cling film and leave to marinade for 4 hours. Smoke for about 4 hours. Enjoy!

Here’s one super hot we made. It is covered in bird’s eye chillies and it was mind-blowingly hot.

Super hot home made beef jerky covered in bird's eye chillies on a smoker


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Source: adapted from Sushi: Taste and Technique

I love sushi. I could eat sushi everyday.  For breakfast, lunch and dinner…  But because I can’t go to the sushi bar every day and the supermarket sushi is only just good enough for a quick fix, I sometimes make sushi at home.  I have ‘learnt’ how to make the rice from Kimiko Barber’s book Sushi: Taste and Technique. I say ‘learnt’, but it would probably better just to say ‘I am following the recipe’, because in Japan, in order to become an itamae (sushi chef), one has to complete an apprenticeship of several years. It typically takes 5 years before the apprentice even gets to prepare the sushi rice and several more years before the apprentice is allowed to serve sushi to clients. All this talk about sushi is making me hungry!

Salmon Philly ISO Roll close up

Below are the ingredients and instructions for preparing the rice, as well as for some ‘tezu’ which is a water vinegar solution. I use this to coat my hands when I handle the rice; it stops the rice from sticking to your hands.

Ingredients:

For the rice:

  • 300g Japanese short grain rice
  • 330ml water
  • 4tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • 1/2tsp salt

Tezu:

  • 250ml water
  • 30ml rice vinegar
  • 5ml salt

Preparation:

Put the rice in a sieve and submerge in a large bowl of water. Wash it thoroughly and discard the milky water. Keep washing and changing the water until it is clear. Drain the water and leave the rice to stand in the sieve for 30 minutes.

Put the washed rice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Resist the temptation to lift the lid, and listen for the sound of boiling instead. Adjust the heat, if necessary, to prevent the water boiling over and cook for a further 3-5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to its lowest setting and simmer for a further 8-10 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

Heat the ingredients for the vinegar mixture in a non-aluminium saucepan, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Don’t allow it to boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the cooked rice into a pre-soaked wooden rice tub or salad bowl. Pour a little of the vinegar mixture over the spatula into the rice.

Spread the rice evenly in the tub. Slowly add a little more of the vinegar mixture, using a slicing action to coat the grains of rice and separate them.

Fan the rice gently to cool it. Continue to fold the vinegar mixture into the rice with the spatula until it begins to look glossy and has cooled to room temperature.

A plate of sushi with different types of sushi (ISO roll, maki, nigiri)


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Quelle: About.com: German Food

I prepared this asparagus soup when we brought back some fresh, white asparagus from Germany (from a local field, of course!). The soup turned out nice, creamy and very flavoursome. Definitely a new seasonal favourite! Next time I will chop the asparagus pieces a lot smaller, though… They were quite a mouthful.

Makes 4 servings

White Asparagus Soup with Smoked Salmon sprinkled with dill

Ingredients:

  • 450g asparagus, white
  • 1 liter vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 340g potatoes, about 3 small (use new potatoes if you can find them)
  • 120ml cream
  • 120g smoked salmon
  • 1-2 T. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Salt

Preparation:

Peel and save the peelings. Cut the ends off about 1 inch from bottom. Reserve heads and cut rest of asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Also, in Germany you may find broken, white asparagus to buy which can be used for this soup and is a little cheaper than whole asparagus. It will take more time to peel, though.

Put the peelings and the chopped ends from the lower half of the asparagus into the broth with the butter and let it steep for 1/2 hour. Strain the broth and discard the asparagus peelings.

Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks, add to the strained broth and cook until very soft, about 20 minutes. Puree the potato broth mixture, strain through a sieve if necessary, and add the cream. Simmer, but do not boil hard.

Add remaining asparagus pieces and simmer for 12 minutes, or until asparagus is soft. Stir often.

Add the smoked salmon, chopped small, reserving 1/4 for garnish. Stir in the chopped dill.

Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Garnish with reserved salmon.

Serve immediately.


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We have recently watched Jamie’s American Road Trip. It was a really interesting programme and most of the food Jamie cooked looked so good that we wanted to try it out ourselves. Judging from the title of the programme, I didn’t really think much good would come from it, but I was wrong. Jamie cooks so many things in there that I had never seen before or that one wouldn’t expect to originate from America (OK, I admit, I assumed this would be a programme about dozens of burgers). He also puts some nice twists into old favourites and the same goes for this green chilli recipe.

We have cooked this many times now and it is one of our favourite recipes. I was initially sceptical, because when you look at the picture, the chili seems to consist of mainly minced meat and no sauce, but trust me, it is absolutely delicious, sort of refreshing and easy to make. Make sure you don’t forget the mint and the lime juice at the end as this gives it the nice, refreshing kick. Jamie serves Navajo flatbreads with this dish; the ingredients and instructions are also below. Enjoy!

Jamie Oliver's green chilli with navajo flatbreads

Ingredients for the chilli:

• olive oil
• 800g pork mince
• 1 teaspoon dried sage
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
• 2 green peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
• 6 small green chillies, roughly chopped
• 4 large ripe red tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
• 1 romaine lettuce, leaves washed and spun dry
• a small bunch of fresh mint
• 4 spring onions
• 1 lime
soured cream or natural yoghurt, to serve

Ingredients for the Navajo flatbread:

• 600g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
• 1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
• 2 heaped tablespoons baking powder
• optional: 1 teaspoon dried herbs or spices, such as thyme, parsley, sumac or crushed fennel seeds
• 6 tablespoons olive oil

How to prepare the chilli:

Put a large pan on a high heat and add a little olive oil. Add the pork mince, dried sage and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up a bit and stir it about, then cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add your onions, garlic, peppers and chillies, stir everything together, then fry for 15 minutes on a high heat until any liquid from the pork has evaporated and everything is starting to turn golden. When it looks good, stir in your chopped tomatoes and half a glass of water. Remember that it’s supposed to be quite dry (in a really wholesome and nice way), not stewy and wet, so don’t add too much water.

Turn the heat down to medium and let it tick away for 10 minutes or so while you wash and roughly chop up the lettuce. Pick the leaves from the bunch of mint and roughly chop them. Trim and finely slice your spring onions.

Taste your dense chilli. More than likely it will need another good pinch of salt and pepper. If you want to give it a nice fresh edge, you can squeeze in the juice of a lime. Stir in half your chopped mint.

Push a warm tortilla or flatbread into each of your little bowls and spoon some delicious green chilli on top of each one. Top with your chopped lettuce and a dollop of yoghurt. Sprinkle over the rest of your mint and spring onions and serve right away.

How to make the flatbread:

Mix your flour, salt, baking powder and herbs or spices (if using) in a large bowl, using a fork. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the olive oil and about 150ml of warm water. Use the fork to gradually bring in the flour from the edge of the bowl, and add another splash of water if you think it’s too dry. Once it starts to combine, wet your hands and use them to really bring it all together until you have a nice ball of dough.

Dust your hands and a clean work surface with flour and knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth and elastic. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes. Pop the dough back into the bowl, dust it with a bit more flour, then cover and leave to relax.

Divide your dough into 10 equal-sized balls, then lightly oil your hands and squeeze each ball between your palms to flatten them slightly. Dust with a little flour as you go, and pat and slap the dough from the palm of one hand to the top of the other. Turn and twist the dough about in a circular movement as you go and keep slapping from hand to hand – each flatbread should be about 1cm thick. You’ll probably mess up a few, but practice makes perfect.

Normally the flatbreads are cooked as you’re making them. You can do this on a barbecue or in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. Cook them for a few minutes on each side and check the underside – you want them to puff up with a nice bit of golden colour. Keep them warm in a basket covered with a tea towel until you’re ready to serve them.

Source: Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe book “Jamie’s America”

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This is the first recipe I tried after I bought myself a Canon EOS 500D. Not only was this was my first attempt at making cupcakes, but also my first attempt at taking photos of food, so I hope the bad composition can be excused…

If you would like to try to make them yourself, here are the ingredients and instructions:

For the filling:
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the cake:
1 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two cupcake pans with liners.

For the filling, mix the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until fully combined. With your hands, roll the mixture into 1-inch balls, creating at least 24 count.  Set aside on wax paper or a baking sheet.

For the cake, stir together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl.   In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beating one at a time, mix in the eggs.  Scrape down the bowl.  Mixing at low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Spoon or pipe a tablespoon or two of the batter into each cupcake liner. Drop a peanut butter ball into each cupcake well and top with the remaining cake batter. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until passes toothpick test. Cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting.  Using the paddle attachment of the electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly mix in the powdered sugar. Blend until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped topping until fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Source: adapted from Pennies On A Platter