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Tortellini with creamy pea and ham sauce

(Adapted:http://cookbook.co.za)

Tortellini is a really easy way to make a delicious meal with very little effort and this pea and ham sauce with some good tortellini is a real winner. You can choose your favourite tortellini fillings like spinach and ricotta, butternut or a meat filling, either way you are going to love it. It’s certainly not for dieters but so delicious even if you are dieting and you allow yourself a treat, this would be it. (serves 4 people easily)

What you need

  • 500g of your favourite tortellini
  • 4-6 slices ham chopped up
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 200ml double cream
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil

The process

  1. Pop your tortellini in a pot of rapidly boiling water that has been generously salted and cook as per instructions on the pack. (I must say that the Woolies fresh tortellini is fantastic and cooks very quickly).
  2. While thats going on, heat a pan on low heat, add a little olive oil and cook your garlic for about a minute until it is sizzling but not brown. Add the peas, ham and then the cream, season with a grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt.
  3. Bring the sauce to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute. This cooks the peas and brings all of the flavours together.
  4. Remove from the heat, toss in the tortellini and gently mix it in using a folding movement. (You want to be really careful here so that you do not break the tortellini) If you are a good flipper of the pan, flip the tortellini around until every piece is coated in the sauce.
  5. Serve immediately with a generous amount of Parmesan. Serve with a salad and a few sliced of toasted ciabatta rubbed with a garlic clove.

Chicken skewers with spicy cranberry sauce


(Adapted:http://cookbook.co.za)

These delectable little chicken skewers are the perfect snack for guests. They are made with chicken mince, much like kofta that is accompanied by a cranberry sauce with a little zing in it. They will be great with sweet chili sauce but the cranberry makes them something your guests will not have had before. (6 people)

What you need

  • 750g chicken mice
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • palm of chopped fresh sage
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 12 skewers
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon tabasco

The process

  1. Add all of the ingredients for the chicken skewers to a bowl and combine well. Best to get your hands in there and squeeze the misxture to comine all of the flavours.
  2. Divide it into 12 portions and shape them into sausage shapes around the skewers, leaving 1/2 of the skewer uncovered. (the chicken portion should be about 8cm long.
  3. Heat a grill pan to medium and cook the skewers until lightly browned and smelling delicious.
  4. In a small pot heat the cranberry sauce and stir in the tabasco.
  5. Drizzle the tabasco over the skewers or serve separately as a dipping sauce.

Pork rib marinade

This is a classic pork rib marinade that is pretty close to what a lot of butchers use. You can add more golden syrup if you like them a little sweeter. Use this as a base to perfect your own sauce.

before we get strated, to get the meat tender and falling from the bone, boil the raw ribs in salted water for about 20 minutes and then let them cool before you marinate them.

What you need

150ml tomato sauce
75ml chutney
75ml honey or golden syrup
Good pinch of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
1 tablespoon Soya sauce
2 teaspoons granular mustard
50ml vinegar
50ml apricot jam
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 chili chopped fine

The process

Put everything into a sauce pan over a low heat and and stir until steams comes off the top.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool, place 1kg of the cooled ribs into a plastic bag with the marinade 1 onion which has been quartered, 3 bay leaves and a pinch of peppercorns. (This marinade will do 2kg of ribs, so 2 bags)

Leave the ribs to marinade for at least 2 hours, then braai or grill them until the edges begin to blacken and the meat is pulling away from the bone.

You can baste while they are cooking but not necessary.

Summer time is braai time and another South African braai classic are Sosaties

Macaroni cheese with bacon and tomato

Macaroni and cheese is such an easy meal that is loved by most families. Here is a great way to fancy up a macaroni and cheese by adding other flavors that are more often than not favorites in most households. I am a big fan of bacon but do sometimes add sausage sliced instead. Have a party and make this macaroni and cheese to suit your family. (4 people)

What you need

180 – 200g macaroni or any small shell pasta
6 rashers of bacon chopped
3 heaped tablespoons butter
1 onion finely chopped
1/2 green pepper finely chopped
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup cake flour
1 cup milk
1 tin (420g) tomato soup
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Salt to taste

The process

Cook your pasta in a large pot of fast boiling water to al dente, drain.

While that’s on the go cook your bacon and set aside.

In a new pot on a medium heat, melt the butter and gently cook the onions and green pepper until they are soft. Don’t let the butter brown.

Now add the bacon, mustard, paprika and stir for about 2 minutes, then toss in the flour and stir constantly until you see the mixture bubble and thicken.

Combine the milk and the soup in a bowl and pour into the pot gradually, stirring all the time. Keep stirring until you have a gleaming and reasonably thick sauce going.

Now for the fun part. Add most of the cheese (about 2/3) and all of the cooked pasta to the sauce mixture. Stir to combine well and then remove from the stove.

Now pour the whole lot into an oven dish, sprinkle over the last of the cheese and perhaps a few slices of fresh tomato and some extra bacon bits, place under the grill in your oven to brown the top and you are done.

It’s fabulous and will become one of your favorites. Here is a more traditional macaroni and cheese recipe.

Pan fried chicken with mushroom sauce

If you are dieting this one is not for you. By flattening out your chicken breasts as if you were making a chicken schnitzel they cook a lot quicker, are beautifully tender and smothered in a rich and creamy mushroom sauce, well what can I say, they are seriously good.(4 people)

What you need

4 – 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts butterflied
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil

Mushroom sauce

2 tablespoons butter
4 cups chopped mushrooms
1 medium onion grated
100ml dry white wine (or chicken stock)
200ml fresh cream

Tagliatelle pasta cooked

The process

Butterfly your chicken breasts by slicing them almost through, opening them out, placing a piece of cling film over them and giving them a pound with a rolling pin or wine bottle.

If you have a meat mallet, be gentle, you don’t want to break them.

Season with salt and pepper and cook in a pan on a medium to hot heat with the oil until browned on the outside. Be careful not to overcook them, they really do take just a few minutes.

Place the cooked chicken in a serving dish that has been warmed in the oven.

Now reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and butter to the same pan and cook for about 2 minutes, add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Pour in the white wine, bring the heat up to high and allow to simmer allowing the liquid to reduce by about half. Add in the cream and stir, stir, stir until it has reduced again by about half.

Place some pasta on a plate, cover with a little sauce, then a chicken piece and top with a generous amount of the mushroom sauce.

I like it with a salad, veg just seems wrong!

Try some of the other chicken recipes, or a healthy chicken recipe.

White sauces 

White sauces are really easy to make and are generally used to coat veggies or variations like a mushroom sauce or mstard sauce for meat and fish. I usually use a plain white sauce over poached smoked haddock for breakfast and it’s become a staple breakfast. There is a cheese and a mushroom sauce below. This amount of sauce should be enough to smother veggies, meat or fish for 4 people.

The basics are that you use the same amount of flour and butter.

Basic white sauce (Bechamel)

What you need for 250ml sauce

1 heaped tablespoon butter
1 heaped tablespoon flour
250ml milk
Salt and pepper

The process

Heat the butter in a pan over a medium to low heat until the butter is foamy.

Add the flour and whisk constantly for about 2 minutes. You want to cook the flour but not brown it.

Then begin adding the milk in a stream whicking constantly until the lumps have dissapeared and the sauce is smooth and glossy and begun to thicken nicely.

Season with salt and pepper.

That’s the basic sauce done.

If you are going to let it stand and want to prevent a skin forming, take a lump of butter and with a fork melt a little over the entire surface.

A classic spinach and ricotta lasagna use bechamel or a light cheese sauce

Cheese sauce

Make the bechamel and add 4 tablespoons of grated cheese. if you are using a strong cheese like parmesan or gruyere taste after each tablespoon.

Whisk until completely melted and smother you favorite veggies, eggs, fish…..

Easy hey!!!

Mushroom sauce

take about 60g off finely sliced mushrooms and add 2 tablespoons of water, a squeeze of lemon and season with salt and pepper. Gently simmer them until they are soft.

Add the bechamel sauce

Smother a steak or quick roasted chicken pieces…

Simple and delicious.

Pork Roast In Milk Sauce

(May Be Slow Cooked In Crock Pot)

Preparation Time: 20 min.Prep cook 2 1/2 hr.
Number of Servings: 4-6
Calories Per Servings: 375
Nutrition Info: Hoilday Feast


Ingredients:

3 Lb. Pork Roast1 TB Butter1 TB Olive Oil1/2 Tea. Salt1/4 Tea. Black Pepper1 Med. Chopped Onion2 Chopped Garlic Cloves2 C.Milk {divided}1/2 Tea. Rosemary1 Bay Leaf1 Sliced Carrot1 TB A/P Flour

Directions:  Melt butter @ oil in LR. skillet. Brown roast on all sides. Transfer to roasting pan {or crock pot}Salt and pepper to taste. In hot skillet with dippings from browning RST. Add carrot, onion cook 5 mins.Add flour stir well, Add remaining ings. pour over roast bake 350” 2- 2 1/2. Double time crock pot. Remove meat let rest before slicing. Reduce sauce on top of stove, pour over meat.

(Source: recipebookonline.com)

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