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Batter-fried Calamari Rings

Purchase the largest calamari rings available for the neatest end result. The tenderness of the calamari is often unpredictable but allowing the rings to thaw  completely, frying only until cooked and adding salt after frying will prevent them from becoming tough.

Be sure to try the recipes for Prawn Tempura (Batter-fried Prawns) and Best-ever Batter-fried Fish for different types of batter.

± 500 g calamari rings
cornflour (Maizena) to dust

Batter
250 ml self-raising flour
pinch salt
1 large egg
± 200 ml water
sunflower oil for frying
salt to sprinkle

To serve (optional)
Tartar sauce or butter flavoured with lemon juice and garlic
lemon wedges

  1. If the calamari rings are frozen, place in a colander and rinse well to remove ice particles.
  2. Drain and wrap in a cloth towel for a while to thaw completely and become quite dry, thus reducing spattering while frying.
  3. Dust with corn flour so that the batter adheres to the rings.
  4. Combine the flour, salt, egg and sufficient water to obtain a relatively firm batter and add the rings to the batter. Stir to coat well.
  5. Pour enough oil into a deep saucepan to fill it to a depth of about 50 mm and heat to moderately hot.
  6. Lift our the rings individually, drain off the excess batter and drop a few rings at a time into the oil.  Fry for 1 to 2 minutes to a side until pale golden and crisp, keeping the saucepan partly covered or cover with a perforated lid to prevent excessive spattering.
  7. Remove the saucepan from the stove plate before lifting the lid when turning over the rings.
  8. Remove the fried rings from the oil with a draining spoon, drain on absorbent paper and keep warm until all the rings have been fried.
  9. Serve as soon as possible to ensure tender rings in a crisp batter.
  10. Arrange the rings on a bed of buttered or Parsley Rice and add lemon wedges and salad.

3 to 4 servings.

Variation
To create a bountiful Italian seafood platter, combine the calarami rings with peeled, de-veined prawns, mussels, firm white fish fillets cut into strips, or any fresh seafood that is available.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster  from the AOC recipe book p. 179.

Batter-fried calamari rings

 

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Spicy Rice

This rice great for using up leftover rice and will go well with meat, fish or chicken.  Ingredients such as peas, different types of herbs, nuts, etc. can be added as well.

500 ml freshly cooked basmati, brown or white rice
3 spring onions, finely sliced
30 ml coriander or parsley leaves, finely chopped
pinch ground coriander
pinch ground cumin
15 ml olive oil or butter
salt
freshly ground black pepper

  1. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Toss the hot cooked rice with the flavouring ingredients and keep warm until ready to serve.

4 to 6 servings.

SpicyBasmatiRice

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Home-made Sushi

A basic version of the ever popular Japanese delight. For best results, sushi should be assembled shortly before serving. Refrigerate after making and use within a few hours if raw fish is used or a day if cooked crab sticks or smoked salmon or trout was used.  For those who do not enjoy the seaweed or Nori wrappers, turn the ingredients into a delicious cold salad or cooked vegetable sushi salad – see variations below. 

Rice
200 g / 250 ml sushi rice
water to cover and rinse
375 ml water
3 ml salt
30 ml castor sugar
50 ml Japanese rice vinegar 

Filling ingredients
½ English cucumber, cut into fine strips
± 100 g crab sticks or fresh raw fish such as tuna or salmon, cut into thin strips
± 100 g blanched carrot, cut into thin strips ( 1 medium or 2 small carrots)
± 100 g firm ripe avocado, peeled and cut into strips (optional)

Egg pancake (part of the filling ingredients)
2 large eggs
5 ml castor sugar
1 ml salt
10 ml cake flour
10 ml oil for frying 

To roll
4 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
bamboo sushi mat or perforated kitchen cloth 

To serve
soy sauce (Japanese is excellent)
wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
pickled ginger

  1. Place the rice into a saucepan, cover with water and soak a few minutes. Stir with the fingers and drain. Add the 375ml water and salt and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to simmering, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer about 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Place a clean kitchen cloth over the saucepan, cover tightly with the lid and allow to stand 15 minutes to complete steaming.
  2. To make the egg pancake, beat the eggs in a cup. Combine the castor sugar, salt and flour in a small jug and, using a whisk, beat in the egg. Beat together very well until smooth. Heat the oil in a small, preferably non-stick shallow pan and add the egg mixture. Cook over gentle heat until set, loosen carefully, turn over and cook briefly on the other side. Turn out, cool and cut into strips.
  3. Mix the castor sugar and rice vinegar in a small jug to allow the sugar to melt. Turn out the rice into a wide shallow dish to allow quick cooling and sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice. Separate the grains with a knife or fork while the rice is cooling. Cover with a cloth until ready to use.
  4. Pour a little vinegar into a small dish to moisten the fingers while working. Lay out the bamboo mat or perforated cloth onto the work surface and place a sheet of nori, coarse side upwards onto the mat.
  5. Dip a spoon into the rice vinegar and spoon and spread about 100 ml of the cooked rice onto the nori, covering the width completely but allowing 2cm at the bottom edge and 5cm mm at the top edge uncovered.
  6. Arrange strips of filling ingredients in a neat, tight line horizontally across the centre of the rice. Spread a little wasabi over the filling for flavour if preferred.
  7. Moisten the top edge of the nori with a little vinegar and using the mat or kitchen cloth, roll up the sushi away from you, pressing and rolling as you go, making a firm neat roll surrounded by the mat or cloth.
  8. Repeat the process until all the rolls have been made, cover the rolls for at least 10 minutes with a damp cloth to set and seal and refrigerate immediately.
  9. When ready to serve, cut the sushi rolls into 6 – 12 sections and place the rolls on their cut sides onto a serving plate with a small bowl of soy sauce or the wasabi mixture in the centre for dipping.

24 – 48 sections, depending on the thickness of the slices.

Notes

  • Vegetarian sushi – make delicious sushi with vegetable ingredients only.
  • Cold sushi salad – omit the Nori and rolling and toss together all the ingredients to serve as a salad. Garnish with diagonally snipped spring onion if preferred.
  • Hot sushi salad – see below.

Hot Sushi Salad

500 g mixed winter vegetables such as pumpkin or butternut, sweet potato and carrots
1 each red, green and yellow peppers

Marinade
15 ml honey
15 ml rice vinegar
15 ml soy sauce

  1. Cut the vegetables into strips or dice and toss with the marinade.
  2. Roast for 20 minutes at 200 ºC.
  3. Toss with rice and egg pancake and serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from her Bon Appetite & Goodbye Demonstration.

Sushi

Sushi salad (1)

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Spicy Macadamia Nut & Fruit Bobotie

Meatless meals need not be without texture, taste or excellent nourishment. Serve this bobotie as the main dish with nutty brown rice and colourful vegetables or salad. Leftovers will step in well as a side dish with meat or fish.  Also see the traditional Bobotie recipe.

1 large onion, finely chopped
½ cup (125 ml) peeled and chopped tomato – fresh or canned
1 banana, peeled and diced
1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely diced (e.g Granny Smith)
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive or any favourite vegetable oil
2 slices wholewheat or brown bread, crusts removed and crumnled
1 cup (250 ml) milk
2 cups (500 ml/200 g) ground macadamia nuts
1 Tbsp (15 ml) favourite mild curry powder
½ – 1 tsp (2.5 – 5 ml) hot curry powder (optional)
1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric
good pinch each ground ginger, cumin and coriander
1 tsp (5 ml) vegetable stock powder
¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
2 tsp (10 ml) apricot jam or fruit chutney
2 tsp (10 ml) white vinegar
1 large egg

Topping
2 large eggs
125 ml milk
3 – 5 young lemon or bay leaves (optional)

To serve – Sambals
Small separate bowls with diced cucumber, pineapple, colourful mixed peppers, snipped spring onion and fruit chutney

  1. Sauté the  onion, tomato, banana and apple in the oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the milk over the bread to soak while sautéing.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine evenly.
  4. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish of a suitable size and smooth the top.
  5. Set the oven at 180 º C and bake the bobotie for 20 minutes.
  6. Beat together the eggs and milk and pour over the bobotie.
  7. Arrange the leaves on top decoratively and continue baking for another 20 minutes until the topping becomes attractively golden brown and set.
  8. Serve with Yellow Brown Rice & Raisins.

6 to 8 servings.

Notes
Leftover Bobotie can be used as a filling for Phyllo Triangles.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

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Yellow brown rice with raisins 

Turmeric, widely used in Cape Malay cooking, colours and flavours the rice.  Raisins add texture and sweetness while the cinnamon stick creates a mysterious aroma to the rice. Brown rice is recommend but white rice may also be used.

1 cup (250 ml) brown rice
1 cup boiling water to soak the rice
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric
1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter or margarine
2 ½ cups (375 ml) water
¼ cup (60 ml) raisins or sultanas
1 small cinnamon stick

  1. Place the rice in a saucepan and cover with the boiling water. Allow to  soak at least an hour. Rinse the rice with the soaking water and drain.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and bring to boil.
  3. Turn down the heat, cover partly and allow to simmer gently for about 30 minutes or longer if necessary until the rice is tender to taste and dry.
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick, fluff lightly with a fork and serve hot.

Notes
Soaking brown rice not only shortens the cooking time but softens the outer husk to make the rice deliciously palatable.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

bobotie phyllo triangles

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Greek-style Spinach Rice (Spanakorizo)

Spinach and rice is a surprisingly good combination and stems from the Greek cuisine. Fresh, young spinach and a special flavourful rice e.g. short grain white or brown Basmati rice will make a good dish even better. Serve with any roast or stewed meat, especially lamb or chicken, as a border to surround a joint of meat, slices or portions.

30 ml sunflower or olive oil or 1/2 of each
30 g butter
125 ml chopped spring onion and or leek
5 ml crushed garlic or 2,5 ml garlic and herb seasoning
375 ml rice e.g. Basmati, white or brown, rinsed in a colander and drained
750 ml water
2,5 ml chicken stock powder
2,5 ml salt
pinch dried dill (optional)
200 g fresh young spinach leaves
30 ml chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
crumbled Feta or Parmesan cheese (optional)

  1. Place the oil, butter or margarine, spring onion and/or leek and garlic or garlic and herb seasoning into a saucepan and saute very gently while stirring for 2 – 3 minutes or until softened. Add the rice and saute 2 minutes more while stirring.
  2. Add the water, chicken stock powder, salt and dill if used and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partly and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and dry.
  3. In the meantime, wash and drain the spinach well and break out any hard stems. Place the spinach into a saucepan and simmer gently for a few minutes until just limp or place into a bowl, cover and microwave on HIGH for a few minutes or until just limp.
  4. Drain the spinach well in a colander, chop coarsely by hand or very briefly in a food processor and add to the cooked rice together with the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Spoon into a suitable dish for serving and keep warm. Serve as is or sprinkle with a layer of crumbled Feta cheese or Parmesan cheese if preferred.

6 to 8 generous servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book p. 439.

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Quinoa Taboulleh

Tabbouleh is a Middle-Eastern salad that is traditionally made with bulgur wheat and a combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, finely chopped parsley, mint and garlic and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. The bulgar wheat can be substituted with quinoa, pearl barley or couscous for equally good results (see notes below).  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is often thought to be a grain because of it’s cooking characteristics, but it is actually a seed and therefore gluten-free.  The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids.  Quinoa is used as a grain and substituted for grains such as bulgur wheat, pearl barley or couscous.  See notes below.

250 ml quinoa
500 ml boiling water
2.5 ml stock powder (beef, chicken or vegetable)
250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
½ medium or a heaped cup cucumber, diced
60 ml spring onion, finely sliced
125 ml fresh parsley, finely chopped
30 ml fresh mint, finely chopped
15 ml fresh basil, finely chopped (optional)
300 g cooked chicken, skinless and boneless(optional)

Dressing
45 ml lemon juice
60 ml olive oil
10 ml crushed garlic
2.5 ml salt and pepper to taste

  1. To make the quinoa, measure the quinoa with a 250 ml measuring cup and transfer it to a sieve or fine-mesh strainer.  Rinse it very well under running water while rubbing the quinoa between your fingers (see notes).
  2. Drain and transfer the quinoa to a saucepan and toast for a few minutes on medium heat until there is no liquid left.
  3. Add the water and stock powder and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes.
  4. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.  It should be transparent and you should see tiny spirals (the germ) curling around the quinoa seeds.  See photo below.
  5. Transfer the quinoa to a large plate to speed up the cooling process.
  6. Prepare the salad ingredients, add the chicken and transfer it to large mixing bowl.
  7. Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.  Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl and mix well.
  8. Add quinoa to taste – between 250 ml and 500 ml and mix well.
  9. Cover the bowl with the lid or cling wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight in the fridge to allow the flavors to blend.
  10. When ready to serve, transfer the salad to a salad bowl and serve.

Notes

  • Rinsing the quinoa removes its natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy.
  • One cup of dried quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked.
  • Cooked quinoa can also be used as the basis for pilafs, salads, breakfast porridges, desserts, etc.
  • Pearl barley, bulgar wheat or couscous can be used instead of quinoa.
    • Pearl barley is barley processed to remove its hull and bran. Although pearl barley is not a wheat product, it does contain gluten.  To cook the pearl barley, measure 250 ml pearly barley into a medium saucepan and add 4 cups (1 liter) cold water and 2.5 ml salt or stock powder. Bring it to the boil, turn it down to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft. Be careful not to overcook it, as it will become soft and mushy. Drain any excess water and transfer the cooked pearl barley to a large plate and set it aside to cool before mixing it with the salad ingredients.
    • Bulgur wheat is a whole wheat grain that has been cracked and partially pre-cooked. Bulgur wheat is high in fiber and low in fat.  To cook bulgur wheat, bring 500 ml water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add 250 ml bulgur wheat and 2.5 ml salt or stock powder. Bring it to the boil, turn it down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until soft.
    • Couscous is made from durum wheat semolina. Couscous is therefore not gluten free.  To cook couscous, measure 250 ml boiling water with a measuring jug and add 10 ml olive oil and 2.5 ml stock powder of your choice.  Pour the liquid into a mixing bowl and add 250 g couscous.  Mix well, cover with cling wrap or a lid and set aside for 5 minutes.  Fluff the couscous with a fork to ensure that there are no lumps and serve as the starch of a meal.

Quinoa

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Spaghetti Bolognaise Deconstructed

Spaghetti with Bolognaise sauce remains one of the most popular Italian pasta dishes.

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings

Bolognaise sauce

30 ml butter
1 – 2 cloves garlic, crushed
175 ml finely chopped onion
125 ml finely grated carrot
125 ml finely chopped celery (optional)
15 ml sunflower or olive oil
250g chopped mushrooms (optional)
500g lean beef mince
5 ml mixed dried herbs
2.5 ml salt
30 ml cake flour
1 x 410g tin peeled whole tomatoes, liquidised
15 ml tomato paste (optional for a good red colour)175 ml boiling water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
15 ml chopped parsley

Spaghetti

500 g spaghetti
3 litres boiling water
5 ml salt
15 ml oil

To serve
250 ml finely grated tasty hard cheese
chopped parsley to garnish

  1. Heat the butter in a small saucepan and add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery.
  2. Fry gently, stir from time to time until vegetables are tender and golden. Remove from heat.
  3. At the same time, heat the oil in a large shallow saucepan and add the mushrooms and meat.
  4. Stir-fry over moderate heat for 10 minutes or until the meat is browned and crumbly.
  5. Add the fried vegetables, herbs and salt and turn up the heat slightly.
  6. Cook until almost dry, stirring from time to time. Stir in the flour and cook gently, stirring for 5 minutes more.
  7. Add the liquidised tomato and tomato paste if used. Stir well and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust the consistency by gradually stirring in as much of the boiling water as necessary.
  9. The mixture should be thick and moist, not crumbly or runny. Stir in the parsley and simmer 5 minutes more.
  10. In the meantime, bring 3 litres of water to the boil and add the salt, oil and broken spaghetti.
  11. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes or until the spaghetti is cooked to taste.
  12. Drain in a colander. Place the boiled spaghetti on a heated serving platter or shallow dish of a suitable size.
  13. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over the pasta and shape the pasta with the back of a spoon to create a hollow in the centre. Spoon sauce into hollow and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.
  14. Serve immediately or keep warm for a short while.
  15. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the cheese over the dish just before serving and garnish with parsley.

Bolognaise

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Risotto

Rice plays an important part in Italian cuisine and each region has it’s own risotto recipe made with Arborio or risotto rice or if not available, short grain or any other kind of rice. Below are recipes for a Butternut as well as a Seafood Risotto.

Butternut Risotto

Serve with any meat dish or on it’s own as a vegetarian main course.

250 ml arborio-, white or brown rice
30 ml butter
15 ml olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic. crushed
¼ tsp (1 ml) ground ginger or 5 ml grated fresh ginger
125 ml white wine
750 ml water
5 ml chicken or vegetable stock powder
2,5 ml salt
500 ml diced butternut
ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese (opsional)

  1. If Arborio or white rice is used, rinse in cold water to remove the starch.
  2. Heat the butter or margarine and oil and sauye the onion, ginger, garlic for 3–4 minutes until tender.
  3. Add the rice and saute 5 minutes more whie stirring from tiem to time.
  4. Add the wine, water, stock powder and salt and bring to boil. Boil uncovered for 5 minutes, reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes more.
  5. Place the butternut on top, cover and simmer about 20 minutes until the butternut is cooked and the rice is almost dry.
  6. Add the black pepper and mix lightly . Serve with Parmesan cheese.

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Seafood Risotto

An astounding combination with rice and seafood!

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Makes 8 – 10 servings

30 ml olive or sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500 ml arborio rice
30 ml tomato paste
125 ml white wine
pinch cayenne pepper or chilli powder
15 ml white balsamic or wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 litre boiling water
5 ml chicken stock powder
5 ml salt
2.5 ml white pepper
2 kg marinara mix, blanched in salted water and drained

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to combine.
  2. Add all the ingredients except the marinara mix and bring to boil. Stir and turn down the heat.
  3. Simmer partly covered until almost but not quite dry – risotto should remain slightly moist.
  4. Stir from time to time while cooking.
  5. Add the seafood, mix lightly to combine and adjust seasoning.

Variations
Use additional or different kinds of seafood such as prawns only or any combination.

SeafoodRisotto

 

 

 

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Paella

Paella takes its name from the typical wide, shallow saucepan used for this ever-popular Spanish rice dish with magnificent contrasting flavours, colours and textures. To simplify and save time, cook the ingredients simultaneously in two smaller saucepans and the large shallow paella-style pan.  Read more about National Spanish Paella Day here.

Notes

  • To make paella successfully use rice that does not stick together such as parboiled or polished rice.
  • Saffron is the typically used flavouring and colouring agent but it is costly and may be replaced by turmeric.
  • Frozen or canned mussels and oysters are often used in paella. They may be used as is or crumbed and fried before placing on top of the paella.

150 ml sunflower or olive oil or half of each
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 large red tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut into strips
250 g / 300 ml parboiled or polished rice
750 ml boiling water
7,5 ml chicken stock powder
1 ml saffron or 2,5 ml turmeric
200 ml white wine (semisweet or dry)
2,5 ml salt
± 300 g thickly sliced smoked or cooked ham
250 ml frozen peas
± 1 kg boneless skinless chicken breasts
125 ml cake flour or gluten or wheat-free flour
2,5 m salt
additional pinch of saffron or 1ml turmeric
1ml black pepper
± 1 kg combined seafood such as 350 g firm white fish, 350 g shelled and de-veined prawns
2,5 ml salt
few drops Tabasco sauce or a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

To serve and garnish
± 200 g canned, shelled mussels or half shell mussels drained and rinsed or
frozen, shelled or half shell mussels, rinsed in boiling water and drained
black or Calamata olives
chopped parsley
sprigs of fresh herbs

  1. Select one large saucepan or paella–style pan and 2 smaller saucepans and place 50 ml of the oil into each.
  2. Place the onions and garlic into the large saucepan and sauté gently, stirring form time to time until tender.
  3. Add the tomato, green pepper and rice and stir-fry 5 minutes more.
  4. Add the water, stock powder, saffron or turmeric, wine and salt and bring to the boil.
  5. Lower the heat and boil gently until the liquid just covers the rice.
  6. Cut the ham into strips and place with the peas and if used plain, the mussels and oysters as well, on top of the rice.
  7. Cover and simmer gently until the rice is tender and dry and the ingredients on top cooked to taste.
  8. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into 2 cm dices and toss in the combined flour, salt, saffron or turmeric and black pepper.
  9. Heat the oil in the second saucepan and stir-fry the chicken until golden brown, crisp and cooked and set aside.
  10. If frozen seafood is used, rinse in a colander to remove any ice particles and dry well. Cut the fish into 2 cm dices.
  11. Heat the oil in the third saucepan and stir-fry the seafood and fish until cooked and lightly browned. Sprinkle with salt and Tabasco or cayenne pepper and set aside.
  12. Place the cooked chicken and seafood, except the prawns in the shells onto the rie mixture when cooked and toss all together gently.
  13. Serve from the paella-style pan or turn into a warm serving dish and garnish with the prawns in the shells and if used, crumbed oysters and mussels.
  14. Sprinkle with parsley, place the olives on top and garnish with sprigs of herbs.
  15. Serve hot with crusty bread and a mixed green salad.

See the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book for tips on storing, freezing and enlarging paella.

8 generous servings

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book p. 445

Seafood Paella

Variations

Seafood (only) Paella
Omit the chicken and ham and increase the mixed seafood to aout 2 kg.

Vegetable Paella
Omit the chicken, ham and seafood and add about 2 kg lightly cooked or roasted mixed vegetables to the basic rice.