Saturday, 5 April 2008

Frying Pan Cottage Pie

Nothing is better on a cold winter's day than the welcoming smell of a really hearty cottage pie. This one uses mince - or if unavailable, as is often the case in Zimbabwe - or you are vegetarian - uses soya mince. Prepare the soya mince by soaking it in about 1 1/2 cup of water to 2 cup of mince. Add to this flavouring as you soak it - in Zimbabwe we have a mixture called Usavi Mix - this is a flavoured powder that comes in flavours such as beef, chicken and onion and tomato - or a soup mix will do just as well. I use a whole packet to my 2 cups of soya mince. When you cook the mince the mix or soup powder will cobine with the moisture in the soya mince and thicken and make the gravy. Be careful not to add salt until cooked as some soups or mixes can be very salty on their own. This recipe is ideal for anyone forced to use a gas ring to cook with during our long power failures (9 hours yesterday!) 1 pound ground beef or 2 cups of prepared soya mince with liquid from the soaking 1 large chopped onion 2 cups whole corn kernals or baby corn cut into 1/2 inch lengths 2 cups frozen peas thawed - if not available or for a change use 2 chopped green peppers 2 tablespoons tomato puree 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules (if using mince - obmit if using soya mince) 1/2 cup boiling water 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1/2 cup sour cream 3 1/2 cups mashed potatoes -- prepared with milk and butter or margerine 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese - if available In a large frying pan, cook the beef or soya mince and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink - if using soya mince cook until the onions are soft. Stir in the corn, peas, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve bouillon in boiling water. Combine cornstarch and sour cream until smooth; stir into beef mixture. If using soya mince just stir in the sour cream. Add bouillon if using. Spread mashed potatoes over the top; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until potatoes are heated through and cheese is melted.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Curried Melon Starter

This is a lovely fresh starter ideal to serve before a chicken or pork main course. Easy to make and always a big hit. Choose your curry powder carefully - a medium strength is best. 4 cups melon balls -- mixed or use watermelon on its own 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or if unavailable use bottled lemon juice 1 teaspoon honey 1/2cup yogurt Lettuce or cucumbers for garnish Mix curry powder, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl. Stand 5 minutes. Whip in yogurt. Stir curry mixture into yogurt then fold in the melon balls. Chill for 10 minutes. You may add kiwi fruit or finely chopped onion to the mixture for a change.