Onion Salad

Christmas dinner is the primary meal traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  Christmas dinner around the world may differ and the traditions can reflect the culture of the respective country it is being celebrated in. Turkey is present in a fair number of these meals. We as a family are celebrating Christmas with cold meat and salads, which are more suitable for our hot summer days.
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Here is one of my mom’s “traditional” salads she  used to make for Christmas.
Onion Salad
1 kg small onions                1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
1 cup brown vinegar          1 t mustard powder
1 egg, whisked
 Peel the onions, taking care to keep them whole.
  1. Boil the onions in salted water for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain.IMG_8226
  2. For the sauce combine the  mustard powder, sugar and vinegar  over heat until the sugar is dissolved and then boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Let the mixture cool down add whisked egg into the cooled mixture.
  4. Slowly bring it to a low simmer over low heat while whisking.  Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. IMG_8228Remove from the stove immediately, pour over the onions and leave to cool.IMG_20151228_100418

Low-carb microwave bread

This low-carb microwave bread is a compromise. It’s not true bread, of course. But if you’re trying to control your carbs, or need to avoid gluten, this microwave bread adds a nice variety to breakfast and lunch. The “bread” is ready in less than five minutes, and has a spongy texture that readily soaks up butter or honey . It’s also good topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon, or with mustard and ham.IMG_3758

 

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    Instructions
    1. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix the ingredients until very smooth.
    2. Using a spatula, transfer to small ramekin. I made enough of the mixture for 5.IMG_3761
    3. Microwave on high for 90 seconds. Bread will puff up while “baking,” then deflate. When done, it will look like a muffin. Make sure it appears set, otherwise microwave 30 more seconds (but 90 seconds should be enough, and overcooking can dry it up). I do mine individually.
    4. Gently, with a small knife, loosen the bread edges and remove from the bowl onto a plate. Slice into two slices and top with your favorite toppingsIMG_3767

Creamed spinach

1 small onion, finely chopped

200  g  mushrooms, chopped

25 g butter

2 tbsp plain flour

200 ml milk

2 x 200 g bags spinach

100 ml cream

Method

1. Heat the butter in a saucepan, then add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 mins, then slowly start to whisk in the milk. When it has all been incorporated, gently cook for 5 mins until the sauce has thickened.

2. Meanwhile, place the spinach in a large colander. Pour over a kettle full of boiling water until the leaves have wilted (you may have to do this twice). Place the spinach in a clean dishcloth, squeeze out any excess liquid, then roughly chop.IMG_2011

Stir into the sauce with the cream, gently heat, then finely grate over some nutmeg and season well.IMG_2013

Not so traditional Christmas Cake

As I said in a previous post I personally prefer a dark richer Fruitcake. I have searched to find one that I liked and here is my rendition of a not so traditional Dark fruit cake.

Dark Christmas Cake

500 g mixed dried fruits

250 g dates, cut up

125 g butter

200 ml soft brown sugar

250 ml strong coffee

200 g cherries

Put all the ingredients in a large pan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 mins. ( I boiled mine in the microwave for 8 min on high.)

IMG_0999Add 5 ml Bicarb of soda and 100 g chopped pecan nuts into the hot mixture and stir well. Leave to cool for  about 30 mins.  IMG_1005Pre-heat the oven to 130 C.                                            
Then add :
500 ml plain flour
5 ml baking powder
2 ml mixed nutmeg
2 ml ground cinnamon
2 ml ground cloves
2 ml salt
2 large beaten eggs                                                          
Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.  and tip it into  prepared tins, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes.IMG_1006Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 15 ml of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.IMG_1015To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film or tin foil.chritmas 

Summery Chicken Salad

I made this easy chicken salad which is perfect for  a hot summers night!

Fry Onion, garlic, green peppers and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil and butter.

Add about 500g of chicken pieces  and balsamic vinegar , herbs, salt and pepper to taste. ( Can use Balsamic Crema too)

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Cool the chicken, make a salad of your own choice, adding whatever you have available. I  put some green peas  (frozen), pineapple chunks , carrots and feta in, too.IMG_0949

Serve with honey mustard  salad dressing and fresh bread!

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Roasted Beetroot and Feta Salad

Beetroot

The beetroot, also known in North America as the table beet, garden beet, red or golden beet, or informally simply as the beet, refers to any of the cultivated varieties of beet grown for their edible taproots.Wikipedia

Ingredients

600 gr  beetroot  peeled and trimmed

3-4 tbsp olive oil

6-7 tbsp balsamic vinegarIMG_0913

 Preheat oven to 180°C.

Method

  1. Halve or quarter the beetroot, depending on the size. Place on a baking tray.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Roast for 1 hour or until tender. (Here I have used a blueberry infused balsamic vinegar)
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl to cool, then cover and chill.
  4. Combine with rocket , spring onions, gherkins  and  feta.
  5. Serve with a vinaigrette of your choice. I have used the pan sauce (olive oil and balsamic and mixed it with a pomegranate reduction.IMG_0915
  6. I served it with a pork chops and a  Pineapple and Savoy cabbage salad   my sister made.IMG_0918

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Peppery Beef Roast

Pot roasts are typically using the tougher cuts of beef – a chuck roast or shoulder roast – which have the most flavour.

There is just something about having a  hearty roast to serve for dinner. Who can resist that?

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 Ingredients

about 1 kg quality beef

olive oil

15 ml crushed, fresh garlic

15 ml fresh cracked pepper

salt

Method

I’ve used a joint of silverside  here . The meat has to be rested after cooking for at least 15 min to a  half an hour. The timings below are just a guide, as they can differ depending on the type of oven you have or the size of the joint.

To prepare your beef:

Use a thick-bottomed covered pot (oven-proof if you intend to cook in oven), just large enough to hold roast and vegetables. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil on medium high heat (hot enough to sear the meat). Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Sprinkle and rub salt, pepper, and garlic all over the meat. Brown roast in pot, all over, several minutes on each side. Don’t move the roast while a side is browning, or it won’t brown well.

Add the potatoes, onions and carrots to the meat. Add 1/2 cup of red wine or beef stock, cover and bring to simmer.  Then put in the oven,  for about  75 minutes.

Remove the vegetables and place back into the oven, uncovered. Brown the roast for about another 15 min. Take the roast out and let it rest.

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Use the juices in the pot to make a gravy.

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I served it with green beans and cauliflower.

Strawberry Curd

Fruit curd
Fruit curd is a dessert spread and topping usually made with lemon, lime, orange or raspberry. Specific types of fruit curd are named after the central curd in them. Wikipedia
I found a lot of recipes for fruit curds and decided to try it too.

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 (I adapted  this recipe from  http://www.acalculatedwhisk.com/2013/05/strawberry-curd.html)

500g strawberries, washed, hulled & halved

150g white granulated sugar

60g salted butter, roughly chopped

2 large eggs, beaten

Zest and 2 teaspoons lemon juice

In a food processor, puree the strawberries and  zest and juice until very smooth.

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Beat the eggs and add them to the mixture. Add the sugar and the butter en stir well. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the microwave, and pour into small sterile jars.
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Store in sterilized jars in the refrigerator for  two to four weeks weeks.

Lemon curd

  • Fruit curd is a dessert spread and topping usually made with lemon, lime, orange or raspberry. Specific types of fruit curd are named after the central curd in them – for example, that made with lemons is known as “lemon curd”. Wikipedia
    DSC06657I have made this in the microwave.

    Ingredients

    200 ml white sugar

    3 egg yolks

    75 ml lemon juice

    5ml lemon zest

    75 ml butter

     

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    Directions

    1. In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the microwave, and pour into small sterile jars. Store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
    2. I served it with freshly baked scones.

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Bombay Potatoes -my way

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe! I saw how he made this on a  TV-programme and found the recipe on the internet.

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Bombay Potatoes

Ingredients
3 tablespoons sunflower Oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pinch of ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 potatoes, peeled, parboiled and cut into cubes
4 knobs butter
4 tomatoes cores removed and flesh diced
fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method
1 Heat the oil in a pan and fry the spices for a few minutes.
2 Add the butter, then the potatoes, making sure they are completely coated in the spicy mixture.
3 Cook for about 10-15 mins, then stir in the tomatoes and the coriander.

However, this is my version of his recipe.

Bombay Potatoes

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive Oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pinch of ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1 cm slices
2 tablespoons butter
2 tomatoes cores removed and flesh diced
fresh coriander or parsley, roughly chopped

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Method
1 Heat the oil and butter in a pan and fry the onions and garlic, add the  spices and fry for a few minutes.
2 Then add the potatoes and a teaspoon of salt, making sure they are completely coated in the spicy mixture.Then stir in the tomatoes and the coriander. (or parsley – my husband does not like the taste of fresh coriander)

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3, Cook till done.

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I served this lovely spicy side dish with roasted chicken, boerewors,  green beans and a tossed salad.