Recipe: Lasagna

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Homemade lasagna! With cottage, mozzarella, Cheddar cheese, finished in 3 tomato sauces topped with salami.

Ingredients:

.    454 grams sweet Italian sausage

.    340 grams lean ground beef

.    1/2 cup minced onion

.    2 cloves garlic, crushed

.    1 (794 grams) can crushed tomatoes

.    2 (170 grams) cans tomato paste

.    2 (184 grams) cans canned tomato sauce

.    1/2 cup water

.    2 tablespoons white sugar

.    1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves

.    1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

.    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

.    1 tablespoon salt

.    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

.    4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

.    12 lasagna noodles

.    454 grams ricotta cheese

.    1 egg

.    1/2 teaspoon salt

.    340 grams pound mozzarella cheese, sliced

.    3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe: Traditional pad thai

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Traditional Pad Thai with prawns, tofu, bean sprouts, garlic chives and rice noodles. Sprinkled with roasted peanuts wrapped in a egg basket. Garnished with lime, sweet chili sauce, coriander.

Ingredients:

  • 24 baby prawns
  • tofu
  • bean sprouts
  • garlic chives
  • rice noodles
  • roasted peanuts
  • 4 large eggs
  • lime, sweet chili sauce and coriander (optional)

Directions:

  1. Boil 2.5 litres of water, add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add rice noodles to boiling water and cook with lid on top of the pot until water comes to a boil again on the stove. Once done, remove noodles alone into a large bowl and pour 2 cups of cold water over noodles. After 5seconds, drain cold water out.
  2. Bring 2.5 litres of water to the boil, add 2 tablespoons of sea salt.
Add prawns to boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Prawns are done when they float to the top of the water. To test, take out a prawn and hold it to the light, it is cooked when the flesh has shrunk from the shell slightly and the prawn looks translucent. When they’re done, remove them from the boiling water and place in a big bowl of iced water to cool them.
  3. Throw noodles, prawns, tofu, bean sprouts and garlic chives into wok. Adjust proportions according to personal taste. Fry until all ingredients are cooked, then set aside.
  4. Scramble 4 eggs, and fry neatly in a pan as if frying a pancake. Flip over when necessary and set aside once cooked.
  5. Place egg basket onto large plate, and place thai noodles in the middle of egg basket. Use lime, sweet chili sauce and coriander if desired for extra flavor.

Recipe: New English clam chowder with puff pastry

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New English clam chowder with puff pastry and french garlic bread.

Ingredients:

• 4 cups of small Prince Edward Island potatoes, peeled and diced

• 1 1/2 cups celery, finely diced (reserve scraps for stock)

• 1 1/2 cups Spanish onion, finely diced (reserve scraps for stock)

• 1 tablespoon minced thyme

• 1 tablespoon canola oil

• 114g of unsalted butter

• 2 tablespoons ground salt pork

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 4 cups of whole milk

• 8 cups of clam stock (see recipe below)

• 3 cups freshly chopped cherrystone clams (about 36 clams)

• 473ml of heavy cream

• Kosher salt

• 1 bunch chopped flat parsley

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 4 cups oyster crackers or saltine crackers

Directions:

  1. Place potatoes in a medium-sized pot with 1 tablespoon salt and cold water. Place on high heat and cook potatoes until they are tender but have a small amount of bite left to them. Immediately strain and run under cold water when the potatoes are ready.
  2. In a sauté pan sweat celery, onions and thyme with canola oil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Do not allow to brown. When the vegetables are cooked but still retain their color, remove from heat.
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot slowly melt butter. When butter is almost melted add ground salt pork. Render out salt pork with butter over low heat. Do not allow to brown. When salt pork is rendered with butter, add flour and whisk together. Whisk the mixture on low heat until it is well-incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add whole milk. Continue to whisk on medium-low heat. Gradually increase heat to medium. Bring mixture to a low simmer. Continue whisking occasionally. The mixture will begin to thicken. Continue to whisk less frequently, but do not allow mixture to stick to bottom of pot and burn.
  4. After about 15 minutes of low simmering and whisking, add Clam Stock to mixture. Whisk. Add celery and onion mixture to pot. Whisk. Add cooked potatoes and fresh chopped clams to pot. Stir with a spoon. Add heavy cream to pot and bring to a low simmer. After 10 minutes of low simmering, taste and season the chowder with kosher salt. Turn temperature down, leave in pot and serve. Garnish with a pinch of fresh chopped parsley and a few turns of cracked pepper. Crush oyster crackers into soup and eat. Serves 12.
(To prepare ahead of time, perform all steps up to adding potatoes. Chill and reserve soup. When ready to serve, heat up soup while stirring, then continue by adding potatoes and so on.)

Clam Stock:

• 10 cherrystone clams

• 9 cups of water

• Diced celery and onion scraps

In a medium-sized pot, place 10 washed and scrubbed cherrystone clams, 9 cups of water and reserved celery and onion scraps. Bring to a simmer until clams open. Take off heat and strain. Reserve. Serve with garlic bread.

Recipe: Rump Steak

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Grilled matured medium rump steak, stacked on butter cream potato mash, served with sauted Dijon mustard creme mushrooms and salad on the side.

Ingredients (salad):

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Olives (optional)

Ingredients (rosemary garlic butter lamb chops & sautéed Dijon mustard crème mushrooms):

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 x 250g rump steak
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 113 grams of mixed mushrooms, sliced
  • 30 – 44 millilitres of dijon mustard, to taste
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Ingredients (butter cream potato mash):

.       680 grams gold potatoes, peeled and quartered length-wise

.       1/2 teaspoon salt

.       4 tablespoon heavy cream

.       2 tablespoon butter

.       1 tablespoon milk

.       Salt and Pepper

.       Potato masher

Directions:

  1. Prepare your salad. You can make it according to your taste (ie. Greek salad or your personal combination of fresh vegetables and fruits). Leave the salad on the side, ready to place on plates for supper.
  2. Put potatoes into a saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add water until potatoes are covered. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes, or until done – a fork can easily be poked through them.
  3. Meanwhile, you can grill the rump steaks. Chop garlic. Pat steaks dry and season with salt and pepper. In a 12-inch heavy skillet, heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sear steak 3 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic to the skillet, stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Then add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, and keep stirring frequently and cook for 3 minutes longer, or until the mushrooms begin to cook down slightly.
  5. Turn steak over and sear 2 minutes more for medium-rare. Remove the rump steaks and mushrooms from the skillet to a warm plate and keep warm.
  6. Add the white wine to the skillet, keeping heat at medium-high, and stirring to combine any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Reduce the wine by half, then add the chicken stock to the pan, and again reduce the mixture by half.
  7. Add 30 millilitre of dijon mustard and the cream to the skillet, stir to combine and return the rump steaks and mushrooms to the pan.  Cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until slightly thickened, then add the Parmesan cheese to the skillet and stir to blend.
  8. Taste and test the sauce and add the additional 14 millilitre of dijon mustard, if desired. (Note:  If the sauce is a little too thin for your preference, mix 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in a small bowl with a little cold water and blend into the sauce.  Stir constantly until the sauce thickens to your liking.)
  9. Add garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, and stock to a skillet and deglaze these contents over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits for 1 minute. Thereafter, whisk in butter.

10.Pour sauce over steaks.

11.By now, the potatoes should be done. Warm the cream and melt the butter, together. This can either be done in the microwave or in a pan on the stove. Drain water from potatoes. Put hot potatoes into a bowl. Add cream and melted butter. Use potato masher to mash potatoes until well mashed. Use a strong spoon to beat further, adding milk to achieve the consistency you desire. (Do not over-beat or your potatoes will get gluey.) Salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe: Shrimp madras curry with Durban inspired masala

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Prawn madras curry with special Durban masala! Served with basmati rice topped with coriander and home made naan bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds jumbo or large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 24 fresh kari leaves, cut into chiffonade; or 1 tablespoon dried kari leaves, coarsely powdered
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk, fresh or canned
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 bunch watercress, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
  • basmati rice (proportion depends on amount you like having with curry)

Ingredients (naan bread):

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling, see Cook’s Note*
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kalonji (nigella seeds), optional, see Cook’s Note**
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, optional, see Cook’s Note**
  • Melted butter for slathering on the finished naans
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. In a large glass, dissolve the dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with 3/4 cup warm water. Let it sit on your counter until it’s frothy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl.
  3. Once the yeast is frothy, add the yogurt and the olive oil into the glass, and stir to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and add the kalonji and fennel seeds, if using, and gently mix the ingredients together with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to mix. It will feel like there isn’t enough flour at first, but keep going until it transforms into a soft, slightly sticky and pliable dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let it sit in a warm place for 2 to 4 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your shrimp madras curry. Place the shrimp in a bowl. Add the Curry Powder, Garam Masala, kari leaves, garlic, and oil and crumble over shrimps.
  5. Heat a frying pan over high heat until very hot. Add the shrimps and sear, shaking and tossing, for 1 minute, or until they begin to turn pink and curl up. Whisk the tomato paste into the coconut milk and add to the shrimps. Continue to cook until the sauce is reduced to a glaze and the shrimps are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and lemon juice and turn off the heat.
  6. Spread the watercress on a plate and mound the shrimps on top of it. Keep warm until serving time.
  7. 20 minutes should have passed now. Now cook the basmati rice, and once cooked, keep warm.
  8. Once 4 hours has passed since laying out the naan dough, start preparing to roll the naan. When you’re ready to roll, make sure you have two bowls on your counter: one with extra flour in it, and one with water. The dough will be extremely soft and sticky. Separate the dough into 6 equal portions and lightly roll each one in the bowl of extra flour to keep them from sticking to each other.
  9. Shape the naan. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a teardrop shape, narrower at the top than at the bottom. Once you’ve formed the general shape, you can also pick it up by one end and wiggle it; the dough’s own weight will stretch it out a little. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough.
  10. Warm a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it’s nearly smoking. Make sure you have a lid large enough to fit the skillet and have a bowl of melted butter at the ready.
  11. Dampen your hands in the bowl of water and pick up one of your naans, flip-flopping it from one hand to the other to lightly dampen it. Gently lay it in the skillet and set your timer for 1 minute. The dough should start to bubble.
  12. After about 1 minute, flip the naan. It should be blistered and somewhat blackened, don’t worry – that’s typical of traditional naan! Cover the skillet with the lid and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more.
  13. Remove the naan from the skillet, brush with a bit of butter and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish. Repeat with the rest of the naans and serve.

Recipe: Chocolate Soufflé

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Chocolate Soufflé topped with chocolate and walnut shavings. Finished with white chocolate on triple ice cream on waffle and wafer sticks with Strawberry on the side.

Note: Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 4 1/2 tbscaster sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tbs plain flour
  • 160ml (2/3 cup) milk
  • 210g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) thin cream
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Icing sugar, to dust
  • Strawberries, ice cream and chocolate wafers (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush six 160ml (2/3-cup) ovenproof souffle dishes with melted butter to grease (using upward strokes on side). Sprinkle the inside with 1 1/2 tbs of caster sugar, shake out any excess.
  2. Melt 30g of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and use a wooden spoon to stir for 1 minute or until mixture is smooth and begins to bubble. Remove from heat, gradually add milk, stirring until smooth and combined. Return to medium heat, stir until mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in 125g of the chocolate and remaining caster sugar until combined. Transfer to a bowl. Add egg yolks and stir until well combined.
  4. Use an electric beater to whisk egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Use a metal spoon to fold one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture evenly into prepared dishes. Place on a baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until well risen.
  6. Meanwhile: combine remaining chocolate, remaining butter, brown sugar, cream and vanilla essence in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is well combined. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place in a jug.
  7. To serve, place ramekins on plates. Dust with icing sugar. Use a spoon to make a hole in top of each souffle, pour in a little chocolate sauce. Add chocolate wafers, strawberries and ice cream on side if desired.

Recipe: Prawns on a bed of caramelized pineapples

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Prawns with orange sauce on a bed of caramelized pineapples, scented in vanilla finished with olive oil and sherry vinegar vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 24 tiger prawns (raw)
  • lettuce (freshly washed)
  • salt and pepper for seasoning (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Vanilla

Directions:

  1. Core and peel pineapple. Slice it lengthwise into eighths.
  2. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Coat pineapple wedges with sugar; place in hot pan. Cook, turning once and shaking pan often, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. While waiting for the pineapples, cook prawns so long. Bring 2.5 litres of water to the boil, add 2 tablespoons of sea salt.
Add prawns to boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Prawns are done when they float to the top of the water. To test, take out a prawn and hold it to the light, it is cooked when the flesh has shrunk from the shell slightly and the prawn looks translucent.
  5. When they’re done, remove them from the boiling water and place in a big bowl of iced water to cool them.
  6. Now the pineapples should be ready. Remove pineapples from pan, then stir 3 tablespoons water into pan, and heat briefly. Place washed lettuce on plate, then place pineapples on top of them. Drizzle sauce over pineapples. Place prawns on top of caramelized pineapples, and season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and sherry vinegar as desired.

Recipe: BLT sandwich

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Savoury french toast filled with lettuce, smoked mustard chicken, butter fried onions, tomato, bacon, egg.

Ingredients:

  • White/brown bread
  • 4 large eggs
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • 1 tomato
  • Bacon
  • 2 smoked chicken breasts

Directions:

  1. Warm up a frying pan, with some oil. Crack two of the large eggs and whisk them well. Dip each slice of bread into the eggs, and then fry them for French toast. Turn bread over to ensure both sides are golden crisp. Place them aside and keep warm.
  2. Put a spoon of butter into the pan, then fry the onions. Add some salt and pepper according to personal taste. Once they are well cooked, place aside.
  3. Fry the two remaining eggs medium to hard according to personal taste. Once done, place aside.
  4. Fry bacon and ensure thoroughly cooked. Once done, place aside.
  5. Now you can assemble your BLT sandwich. Place the lettuce on top of a slice of French toast, thereafter place the smoked chicken, eggs, bacon, onions and the French toast.