Friday, 22 February 2008
With meat in short supply a few good and filling vegetarian dishes are needs to round off the family menues. This savory roll can be adapted to use what vegetables you have on hand - if you have no nuts use some sunflower seeds - you can use your imagination to combine a host of seasonal vegetables - even better if they come from your own garden! Baked Savoury Roll: 1/4small cabbage 1 ounce nuts 2 medium carrots 1 teaspoon mixed herbs 1 leek 1 teaspoon yeast extract -- (e.g. Vecon or Marmite) or use Bisto made into a thick paste and omit the cornflower 4 mushrooms 1 teaspoon cornflour 1 onion 8 ounces shortcrust pastry 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Onion Sauce: 1/2pint milk 1 ounce flour 1 ounce margarine 1/2 small onion -- chopped finely and sautéed Savoury Roll: Chop or mince the vegetables finely; grate the nuts or use chopped nuts such as peanuts. Heat the oil and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Take off the heat; add the nuts, herbs, yeast extract and cornflour (or Bisto). Mix well and leave to cool. Roll the pastry into a large square approximately 1/8-inch thick. Spread the vegetable mixture evenly to 1/2 inch from edge. Dampen the edges and roll up firmly. Press down the edges. Bake in a hot oven - 200C/400F/gas mark 6 for 30 minutes. Serve with onion sauce. Onion Sauce: Melt the margarine, add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the milk and stir well to prevent lumps. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the onion and serve.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
Piri-Piri Chicken, Peri-Peri Chicken, Frango Piri-Piri, and Frango à Cafreal are all basically the same dish: chicken, marinated in a hot chili marinade, then grilled. The dish's Portuguese and African origins are clearly seen in its names. Frango and cafreal (or cafrial) are Portuguese for chicken, and grilled; and piri-piri or peri-peri are the pan-African words for chili pepper. This dish evolved in Angola and Mozambique (once Portuguese colonies) after Portuguese explorers and settlers brought American chili peppers to Africa. The Portuguese also took the peppers and the cafreal to other parts of the world, notably Goa, India. Spicy-hot Frango Piri-Piri is now so popular in Portugal that it is regarded as a Portuguese dish and it is so popular in Zimbabwe, among all sections of the community, that it has been 'adopted' as a Zimbabwe dish as well! The most basic piri-piri marinade recipe calls for just oil, cayenne pepper or minced fresh hot chili pepper, and salt. Many piri-piri recipes add an acidic liquid (usually lemon or lime juice, or vinegar, or possibly wine or liquor) which adds a tang and tenderizes the chicken. More elaborate versions also include various other flavorings and spices including herbs such as oregano. No quantities are given for the ingredients in these recipes: how you make your marinade depends on how much chicken you're cooking and what ingredients you like. (However, as a guide, the ingredients are listed by volume from largest to smallest.) What you need chicken; whole or serving-sized pieces - One authentic African method is to "butterfly" a whole chicken, i.e., split a cleaned whole chicken down the center enough to allow it to lie flat, but without cutting it into two pieces; then flatten it by hitting it with a mallet or sturdy bottle; then coat the chicken with a marinade like and let it sit for a few hours before grilling. Marinade # 1 oil (or butter, or bacon grease or similar) cayenne pepper or red pepper; or dried red pepper flakes; or finely chopped hot chile pepper salt Marinade # 2 oil cayenne pepper or red pepper paprika garlic (minced, or powdered) ground ginger salt Marinade # 3 oil vinegar, or cider vinegar cayenne pepper or red pepper; or dried red pepper flakes salt Marinade # 4 oil or butter lemon or lime juice fresh hot chile peppers, minced; or cayenne pepper or red pepper; or dried red pepper flakes garlic, minced parsley, chopped salt Marinade # 5 oil vinegar (red wine vinegar) and/or dry sherry (or cooking wine) fresh hot chile peppers, minced; or dried red pepper flakes garlic, minced black pepper salt Marinade # 6 oil or butter lemon or lime juice fresh hot chile peppers, minced; or cayenne or red pepper garlic, minced ground coriander, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, to taste fresh or dried parsley or oregano, chopped salt Marinade # 7 oil (olive oil) lemon or lime juice -- and/or -- vinegar or cider vinegar fresh hot chile peppers, minced; or cayenne or red pepper garlic, minced bitters (Angostura bitters® or similar) paprika salt Marinade # 8 oil (or butter, or bacon grease or similar) cayenne pepper or red pepper; or dried red pepper flakes; or finely chopped hot chili gropund or fresh oregano pepper salt What you do Prepare your choice of marinade, or invent your own, by grinding and mixing all of the ingredients (except the chicken) in a glass bowl. For a milder flavor substitute paprika for cayenne pepper. Some recipes call for bay leaf, marjoram, raisins, tarragon, thyme, or tomato paste. Some cooks like to let the marinade "age" for a day or two (in the refrigerator) to allow the flavor to develop. Rub the chicken all over with the marinade (inside and out if using a whole chicken). Allow the chicken to marinate for at least an hour, overnight if possible. Save the remaining marinade after the chicken is done marinating. Cook the chicken on an outdoor grill or broil it in the oven. Depending on your preference, foil wrap or a rotisserie may be used for a whole chicken. As it cooks, turn the chicken and baste it with the remaining marinade, making sure the marinade is completely cooked after the last basting. Remove the chicken from the grill or roasting pan with a clean fork (not one that came into contact with the uncooked marinade). Serve with additional hot sauce (but not the marinade that was used with the raw chicken), Rice, bread or bread rolls, or roasted potatoes or chips and a good green salad. Serve chilled fruit or creme caramel as the dessert. These marinades also work well with fish or shrimp.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
A lazy afternoon or a get together after work - what better than a good wine based cocktail. Zimbabwe has gone a long way from its early wine making days - a good red wine is produced here and this recipe makes it go further. Did you hear the joke? A group of wine makers from France visited Zimbabwe in the early eighties and were asked their opinion of a wine that had been grown on the hill opposite where they were having lunch. They could easily see the building where the wine had been made. They were asked what they thought of the vintage. After some consideration one member of the party replies, "It doesn't travel very well"!!!!!! Gone are those days! 1 Bottle of Merlot 1 Cup soda water 1/4 cup Orange Juice 1/2 Cup chopped Mango 1 cup sliced Strawberries 1 apple chopped 1 cup of ice cubes *Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and serve over ice in wine glasses .
A good lemon meringue pie is the ideal finish to a good meal - especially in summer. We can still get condensed milk in some shops - lemons are available - one does have to use up a little of our valuable sugar - but eggs can be found and the look on your guests faces when they taste the result makes up for using the scarce ingredients! 250g sweetened condensed milk (9 oz) 65ml castor sugar (6 tbsp) 3 medium sized lemons 3 eggs. Juice the lemons and using a rasp grate the outside of the lemons to obtain the zest. Be careful to only grate the outer colored skin of the lemons and not the white pith. Separate the eggs. In a mixing bowl beat together the egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. Beat in the condensed milk and pour the resulting mixture into a baked pastry or biscuit pie shell. Using a clean bowl beat together the egg whites and castor sugar until the mixture forms stiff peaks, be careful not to beat so much that the meringue mixture becomes dry.Spoon the meringue mixture over the lemon pie filling. Do not smooth the top. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180oC (350oF) for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Serve the Lemon Meringue Pie cold or chilled.
Monday, 18 February 2008
Addictive nibbles to serve at sundowner time. In Zimbabwe at sundowner time it is traditional to get together with friends and have a few drinks, some snacks and lots of gossip! 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 large garlic cloves -- very finely chopped 2 cups salted skinless peanuts 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne or chilli pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar -- (optional) Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add peanuts, cumin, cayenne and salt; stir until thoroughly combined and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat; stir in sugar if desired. Serve warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 cups. Enough for nibbles for 4 to 6.