Friday, 31 July 2009

Glazed beetroot in the microwave

This is an unusual way to serve beets and much better than the cold pickled variety!
beets - think in the region of 2 to 3 small ones per person
1 onion
Balsamic vinegar
Orange juice White wine
Cook beets in water with the skins on Drain when cooked and cool
Skin beets and chop into small cubes
Chop onion and cook in microwave for about 2 minutes with a little oil (I use a Pyrex dish)
Place beets with cooked onions and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar
Just cover with white wine and orange juice - mixed in equal quantities
Cover dish and cook for 5 minutes on high. If there is too much liquid cook a little longer until you get a syrupy sauce. If too dry add a little water and heat through
Serve with pork Schnitzels or chicken breasts and a baked potato or mashed potatoes.
An avocado and olive salad goes well with this.

Thursday, 30 July 2009


This makes a good buffet dish - a starter or a main meal if served with some creamy mashed potato. The variations are mentioned at the bottom of the recipe which can be made with almost any vegetable that is suitable for stuffing. 2 lbs. chopped beef (fine but not like mince) 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon garlic powder --or 2 cloves mashed 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves --or 1 tsp. dried dill 2 tablespoons salad oil 1 cup cooked rice 8 large firm tomatoes 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons oil 12 ounces canned tomato paste 12 ounces water (1 1/2 cups) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon garlic powder or crushed cloves to taste tomatoes green olives In a large frying pan fry the chopped beef, 1 tsp.salt, ½ tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. garlic powder (or 2 cloves mashed) and 4 Tbs. chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp. dried dill) in 2 Tbs.oil until meat browns. Add 1 cup cooked rice and blend. Cut a slit in 8 large tomatoes (very firm), halfway across the center. Squeeze at the sides to open the slit. Scoop out all the flesh from inside of tomatoes with a spoon. Refill tomato with beef mixture and close the tomato. Melt 2 Tbs. butter and 2 Tbs. oil in a large pan. Sauté the tomatoes carefully in the fat, rolling them gently until they become dark red on all sides. Remove the tomatoes with the oil and place in a casserole or heavy saucepan. Prepare sauce as follows and pour over the tomatoes: Combine 2 6-oz. cans tomato paste thinned with 2 6-oz. cans water, ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. garlic powder or crushed garlic. Simmer the tomatoes gently over low flame for 10 to 15 minutes until sauce is cooked. Remove carefully to a 15-inch round platter. Surround with raw tomatoes cut in thick slices. Top each slice with green or black olives. If there is more i filling left over after filling the tomatoes place it in a suitable pan and bake it alongside the tomatoes. This can also be made with cucumbers. The cucumbers are peeled, cut lengthwise, scooped out, filled and finished as below. You may also use eggplants. Peel small eggplants, remove the tops, scoop out interiors and proceed in the same manner. The cucumber dish is garnished with fresh cucumber slices and the eggplant with tomato and cucumber slices overlapping all around the edge.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Banana peanut Cake from Ghana

I lived in Ghana for a number of years and bananas and peanuts were always available. This cake is an ideal way to use up ripe bananas that you have left over.
A more refined and lighter cake can be made using other nuts of your choice - macadamias are very good!
1 1/4 cups butter or margarine -- softened (butter is better!) 2 cups sugar 4 eggs -- beaten 4 1/4 cups white flour (brown also works)
1 teaspoon salt 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 8 bananas -- mashed 1/2 cup peanuts -- coarsely chopped 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat to combine. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, and Baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the bananas and peanuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Stir together the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top of the cake as soon as you remove it from the oven.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Garlic Chicken

This sounds like a lot of garlic but the flavour mellows beautifully.
Serve with green salad and some creamy mashed potatoes. 1 whole chicken -- cut into 8 pieces 1/2 cup olive oil -- plus 2 tablespoons olive oil 10 sprigs fresh thyme 40 garlic cloves -- peeled Salt -- to taste Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide fry pan over high heat. Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Put in a covered dish and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, carve, and serve. This recipe yields 6 servings.