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.

COMPETITION GIVE AWAY: 100 LINDT MILK TRUFFLES

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As my blogging journey nears its end, I cannot express the overwhelming gratitude for my readers’ appreciation of my blog posts enough. Thanks to all of the wonderful comments of encouragement, my anxiety when I started my first blog was quickly replaced with excitement. I would like to give a small token of love to my readers, without whom I would not have been able to further improve my blog. Some divine premium Lindt Swiss chocolate for the learning curve of an experience you have all rewarded me with!

This is a competition/give-away, with the prize being 100 Lindt milk truffles. I am aware of my American, Australian, Taiwanese, and Philippine readers. If you win, they will be air mailed to you. The competition only runs for 5 days, and it’s very simple. You have to be an email follower of my blog to enter. Once you’ve followed my blog (if you haven’t already), then comment on this post with both your email address and your favourite Miss Apron Lady recipe I have shared so far! There are 25 to choose from, and they can be easily accessed through my Recipes tab above. State your favourite recipe along with your reason for it being your favourite. Thereafter, tweet me @missapronlady with your favourite recipe and why. I will be choosing my favourite answer, as I don’t believe in random draws, because I feel that the best person should win.

All the best Apron Ladies and Gentlemen! All my love for the remainder of the week.

Hanna

x x x

Recipe: Crème brûlée with strawberries as waiters in suits

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Crème brûlée with waiters in suits!

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 litres hot water
  • strawberries, melted dark and white chocolate (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

3. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

4. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually.

6. Pour the liquid into 6 (200 – 230 grams) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan.

7. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the crème brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

8. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

9. Remove the crème brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the crème brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

10. Dip strawberries in dark chocolate, then decorate with white chocolate using fingers and tooth picks. Place in refrigerator to set before placing on top of crème brulee.

Recipe: South African Braai

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South African Braai. T-bone steak marinated, along with Pap covered in blend of tomato, onion, sweet chilli sauce, with salads on the side. Boerie as well as a sosatie on side.

Ingredients:

  • 450 – 680 grams bone-in T-bone steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Boerewors
  • Bread rolls
  • Sosatie
  • Tinned tomato and onion
  • Wellington sweet chili sauce
  • Lettuce, tomato, cucumber (optional salad as a side dish)

Ingredients (pap):

  • 2 cups (500ml) water
  • 1/2 tsp (2,5ml) salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) maize meal
  • 1 Tbls (15ml) butter

Directions:

  1. Put the water and salt in a saucepan. Bring to the boil.
  2. Turn to a low heat once boiling and immediately add in the butter and the maize meal. Don’t wait for the water to cool. Mix to combine.
  3. Adjust with extra water or maize meal to the consistency of your liking.  I like it the same consistency as mashed potato.
  4. Leave to cook covered on a low heat for about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, pan fry the T-bone steak, sosatie and boerewors. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Remember to have removed steak from the refrigerator a half-hour before cooking.
  6. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Pat steak dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Add oil to hot skillet and when it begins to smoke add steak. Reduce heat slightly and cook steak, sosatie and boerewors until browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer skillet to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into the steak registers 120 degrees F for medium-rare, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer steak, sosatie and boerewors to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut steak, sosatie and boerewors from the bone and carve meat across the grain. Keep them warm and set aside.
  7. 30 minutes should have passed by now, so pap should be ready. Keep pot off stove but keep it warm.
  8. Throw tinned tomato and onion into a pan and cook for 10minutes. Add some Wellington’s sweet chili sauce, as desired. Once done, set aside to drizzle on pap later.
  9. Slice up bread rolls and butter them. Place sosatie and boerwors inside.

10.    Make salad and serve.

Recipe: Peach cream mousse cake

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Peach cream mousse cake! With mango cubes and granadilla jelly top. Finished with peach, strawberry and kiwi. 

Ingredients:

.       17g Gelatin Powder

.       60g Hot Water

.       350g Whipping Cream

.       3 tablespoon Icing Sugar

.       300g granadilla Puree (if refrigerated, bring to room temperature)

.       300g peach Puree (if refrigerated, bring to room temperature)

.       1 tablespoon Rum

.       200g to 220g Cubed Mango (or use 2 medium sized mangoes)

.       150g mango puree (or use1 medium sized mango)(bring to room temperature)

.       2 tablespoon piping gel

.       Strawberries, peaches and kiwis (sliced)

Ingredients (crust):

  • Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing
  • 250 g biscuit wafers or 270 g (2 cups + 2 tablespoons) wafer crumbs
  • 56 g (¼ cup) caster (superfine granules) sugar
  • 113.5 g (½ cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

1. Using a pastry brush, grease the bottoms and sides of a 23-cm (9-inch) springform pan.

2. If using graham wafers, place in the bowl of a food processor and process to a fine crumb.

3.    In a small-sized bowl, stir together the graham wafer crumbs, sugar and melted butter.

4.    Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up the sides of the greased springform pan, stopping about 2.54-cm (1-inch) from the top of the pan.

5.    Place in the freezer to set while preparing the peach and cream cheese filling.

6.    In a small bowl, dissolve gelatine powder in hot water. When the gelatine powder is fully dissolved, add to peach puree. Add rum to the mixture. Mix well.

7.    In a mixing bowl, whip whipping cream with icing sugar to mousse state. Add the peach mixture to whipped cream. Mix well till incorporated.

8.    Put chilled, crumb lined springform pan in a shallow baking tin.  Pour the peach mousse filling into crust. Let the cake chill for at least 3 hours to set before removing the cake ring.

9.    After the mousse has set and the ring removed, make granadilla puree topping. Blend granadilla puree together with piping gel (add more piping gel if a thicker consistency is desired) and pour on top of the set mousse carefully.

10.Once the granadilla gel has set, decorate the top of the cake with slices of peaches, strawberries and kiwis.

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: Pavlova

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Pavlova! Traditional meringue topped with vanilla cream, finished with strawberry, raspberry, blueberry drizzled in glazed strawberry syrup. Not to forget the sprinkle of granadilla.

Ingredients:

  • 6 (59g) eggs, separated
  • 1 1/4 cups (270g) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 2 tbs icing sugar mixture, sifted
  • Finely shredded rind and juice of 2 limes
  • strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
  • strawberry syrup
  • Pulp of 2-3 granadilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 120°C. Line an oven tray with foil. Brush with melted butter and dust with cornflour, shaking off excess. Mark a 24cm-diameter circle on foil.
  2. Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar dissolved. Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still “gritty” with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves. Add cornflour, vinegar and vanilla and whisk until just combined. Spoon meringue onto the foil, using the marked circle as a guide. Smooth sides and top of pavlova. Use a small spatula to forms little peaks around edge of pavlova. Bake in oven for 11/2 hours or until pavlova is dry to the touch. Turn off oven. Leave pavlova in oven with the door ajar to cool completely. When completely cold, transfer to serving plate or store in an airtight container until required.
  3. Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream and icing sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Spoon cream onto the top of pavlova. Pour lime juice into a ceramic or glass bowl. Add banana slices and toss to coat with juice. Drain. Decorate pavlova with banana, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Sprinkle strawberry syrup and granadilla.

Recipe: Boeuf en Croute pastry

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Boeuf en Croute done with cheese and herb pastry with red wine sauce. finished with potato, baby carrots and beans on the side with beef gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 604 grams of beef tenderloin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 454 grams mushrooms, very finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup Madeira
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 x 453 grams packages puff pastry or frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • potato, baby carrot and beans (optional)

Directions:

1. Season the beef with salt, and pepper. Melt a tablespoon of butter with a drizzle of the olive oil in a sauté pan until hot, then sear the beef on all sides. Remove from the pan to a board, and let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

2. In the same pan as the beef, prepare the mushroom duxelles: Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and fry the shallots until translucent. Add the mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaf, and cook until very tender. Pour over the Madeira, and bring to a boil, and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the creme fraiche and cook down to a very thick paste. Season the mixture with salt, and pepper. Stir through the chopped parsley.

3. Roll out one block of pastry to a rectangle large enough to fit the meat with a roomy border. Place on a baking sheet. Remove the fillet from the refrigerator, and unwrap. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the center of the pastry and set the meat on top. Roll out the second sheet to fit over the whole fillet generously. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and 1 teaspoon water. Brush the margins of the bottom pastry with egg wash, then drape the second sheet over, pressing to seal well. Trim the edge to a 1-inch border. Crimp the edges with your fingers. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

5. Brush the whole surface of the pastry with egg wash and make two slits in the top with a knife to allow steam to escape. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F, and continue to bake 20 minutes, depending on how well you like your meat done. Remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before serving in slices.

6. Serve with potato, baby carrots beans and gravy if desired.

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.