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Monday, July 24, 2017

The Crustacean Tail

Lobster tails have been on my mind for a while now, so I decided it was time to get my hands dirty. As a working professional, elaborate things such as lobsters aren't hard to tackle on a weeknight... not if you have garlic and butter at home! This recipe is probably one of the easiest ways to prepare lobster tails in less than 30 minutes!

Lobster tail with garlic butter and herbs

To butterfly a lobster tail, plate one flat on a cutting board with the head side facing you and the tail side facing away. Using kitchen shears, cut down the center of the shell at the top until you reach the beginning of the tail. Turn the tail around to the side with the ribs, and crack all the ribs. Turn the tail back around to the cut shell and use your fingers to pry open the shell and dig out the lobster meat in one piece; leave it attached to the tail bit. Place the meat on top of the now-empty shell. Prepare four of these and place them in a baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 190C. Mix in a bowl a spoon of Dijon mustard, two spoons of melted butter, a spoon of pressed garlic, a spoon of oregano, salt, pepper and paprika to taste, two spoons of lime, and a spoon of finely chopped coriander. Maybe add a small drizzle of olive oil. Pour this mixture over the lobster tails, and add an additional slice of two of (solid) butter on top of each. Pop the baking dish into the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the lobsters look solid and opaque.

To serve, take the lobster tails out of the baking dish and put on a plate, then spoon the liquid leftover in the dish onto the tail generously like a sauce. Season if you want, and serve with something light on the side!

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Texas Czech

Traditionally, a kolache is a wonderful little Czech-style pastry with sweet fillings. Trust the Americans to take it a step further, turn it savory, and serve it with picante sauce!

Texas-style kolaches

To make the dough, mix together 2-3 cups of flour (as required for dough consistency) with a spoon of butter, a spoon of dry yeast, three spoons of sugar, a quarter cup of warm milk, an egg, water as required and a pinch of salt. Fair warning: the dough will be very sticky, but should be firm enough to start to come together. Wrap in cling-wrap and refrigerate for 4 or more hours.

You can have a variety of savory stuffing options, from a breakfasty egg and bacon scramble to a sausage to curried chicken! Keep your stuffing ready while you preheat the oven to 180C. Get the dough out and roll into 5-7 balls. Make a dent in each ball and stuff with your choice of filling and pinch the dough up around the stuffing to cover. Place the balls seam-down on to a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden!

Serve with picante sauce.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Salmon and Veggie Penne

Pasta doesn't always have to be an unhealthy, saucy, creamy thing, even though who can say no to a hearty fettuccine alfredo, really! Here's a simpler alternative.

While your two and a half cups of penne pasta (made of whichever wheat you're currently considering healthy) are boiling to al dente, combine a cup of sundried tomatoes with half a cup of cashews, half a cup of parmesan, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, three pods of garlic, a spoon of olive oil, and salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Blend together to make a pesto.

Cook four slices of a skinless salmon fillet in a pan with a little oil (four minutes to one side, three to the other) and take off the heat. Flake with two forks. Set aside.In the same pan, add a spoon of chopped garlic, a cup of broccoli florets and two cups of sliced mushrooms and saute until the water from the mushrooms has dried up. Add a spoon of chilli flakes and stir. Add the cooked pasta and the pesto and turn off the heat. Combine together and add the flaked salmon. Serve with a garnish of freshly grated parmesan and coarsely ground pepper. Serves two.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Salmon Roll

Just back from a vacation full of binge-eating and I've put on two kgs in two weeks! What do you do when you're jetlagged, sleepy, bloated and just not fit to operate a stove?

Smoked salmon rolls

To make the guacamole for the stuffing, coarsely blend together a peeled avocado with a shallot, a small tomato, two pods of garlic, a teaspoon each of cumin and paprika, salt to taste, half a lime, a teaspoon of olive oil and a fistful of coriander leaves.

Lay out some cling-wrap and sprinkle sesame seeds on it. Spread eight slices of smoked salmon on it and spread guacamole and a thin layer of cream cheese on each slice. Sprinkle chopped chives on top and roll up the smoked salmon! Serve as appetizer or with steamed broccoli, and say yes to an extra-healthy Monday!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Patty

Souvenirs aren't the only thing that you can bring back from vacation! I've been meaning to put up something by this friend of mine for a while because she posts the most amazing food pictures on Instagram, and now I can!

Neha's meat patties, in her words.

Marinate 500g mutton kheema (mince) with a spoon of each: turmeric, chili powder, Garam masala, coriander powder, ginger and garlic paste and a tad bit of curd for like 30mins to overnight. Cook the mixture in the cooker with a little bit of water. Keep one chopped onion and a boiled potato ready. In a pan, add some oil put some jeera (cumin seeds), chopped curry leaves, onions and sauté it. Add the boiled crushed potato, add the kheema mixture until it becomes dry. After the mixture cools, make small patties....dip it in an egg and then bread crumbs and shallow fry. Ta-da, mutton parties are ready to eat!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Turkey Muffins

Meatloaf on a go? I think so!

Preheat oven to 220C. Sauté together half a chopped onion, a cup and a half of chopped mushrooms, and a cup of finely grated or chopped carrots, with three cloves of chopped garlic in a little olive oil. Add a spoon of garlic chilli sauce and a spoon of Peri Peri sauce. Add this mixture to half a kg of minced turkey in a bowl with an egg and half a cup of grated parmesan cheese. Mix together and spoon the mixture into greased muffin pans (should make 6). Top with pizza sauce. Bake for 25 min, and serve with your favorite greens!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Mango Fish Tacos

I'm out of creative names for dishes.

Fish tacos with mango avocado habanero salsa

Slice three large basa fillets into fingers, and coat them in a mixture of flour, salt and paprika. Bake in the oven at 220C for 10 to 12 minutes.

While the fish bakes, mix a cup of chopped mangos with a chopped avocado and a tablespoon of habanero sauce. (I do this as a nod to an "incident" with an actual habanero.) Add a teaspoon of crushed garlic, salt to taste, two big spoons of chopped coriander and a quarter lime.

On the side, sauté two cups of sliced button mushrooms and set aside.

Toast each tortilla (whole-wheat, in my case) in a pan and stuff with lettuce, rocket, shredded carrots and corn. Add the sautéed mushrooms. Add three or four freshly baked fish fingers to each taco, slap on a dollop of Greek yogurt and load up on the salsa. Garnish with coriander leaves and lime! Should make about 6 tacos.