Pasta salad with boneless chicken

Ingredients
1/2 kg pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
400 grm thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast.
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Method
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add half the boneless chicken; season with salt and pepper. 
3. Cook until just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining chicken.
4. Add garlic and 2 tablespoons water to skillet, and cook until garlic is tender, scraping up any bits from bottom of pan, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with chicken.
4. Add pasta, yogurt, lemon juice, mint, and olives; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Tip: If the pasta salad seems a bit dry, stir in a little more yogurt just before serving.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Serves 6 


creamy pasta salad

Ingredients
1/2 kg medium pasta shells
1 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
6 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup celery leaves
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper



Method
1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water; drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add celery stalks and leaves, onion, and cooled pasta.
3. season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Serves 8 

Pasta salad with shrimp

Ingredients
  1/2 kg pasta
  2 tablespoons olive oil
  1/2 kg peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  2 garlic cloves, minced
  1 1/4 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint, coarsely chopped
  1/3 cup olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  Coarse salt and ground pepper

Method
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add half the shrimp; season with salt and pepper. 
3. Cook until just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
4. Add garlic and 2 tablespoons water to skillet, and cook until garlic is tender, scraping up any bits from bottom of pan, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with shrimp.
4. Add pasta, yogurt, lemon juice, mint, and olives; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Tip: If the pasta salad seems a bit dry, stir in a little more yogurt just before serving.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Serves 6 

Classic Egg salad

Ingredients
  4 anchovies in oil
  ½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  ½ a bunch of fresh chives
  ½ a lemon
  1 dried red chilli
  4 large free-range eggs
  2 round lettuces
  1 red chicory
  1 white chicory
  20 g punnet cress

SALAD CREAM
  ½ a clove of garlic
  2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  6 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  3 tablespoons buttermilk

Method
1. Cut the anchovies in halve lengthways, then place in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the anchovy oil, the lemon zest and juice.
2. Pick the parsley leaves, then finely chop along with the chives. Add a little to the bowl.
3. In another bowl, peel and crush the garlic, then whisk together with the remaining salad cream ingredients. Season to taste and set aside.
4. Make a chilli salt by bashing the chilli and 3 tablespoons of sea salt in a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
5. Boil the eggs in salted water for about 6 minutes, refresh in cold water until cool enough to handle, then peel each egg and set aside.
6. Pick the inner leaves of the round lettuces. Finely slice the chicory bases, and separate the leaves. Arrange on a serving platter.
7. Scatter over the remaining chopped parsley and chives, snip over the cress, then halve the eggs and place on top.
8. Sprinkle over some chilli salt and divide the anchovies between the eggs, drizzling over a little of the anchovy marinade too. 
9. Serve with the salad cream on the side – so simple, so delicious.

Aromatic Khagina

Ingredients
  6 eggs, 
  3 tablespoons butter 
  1 small white onion, finely chopped
  2 teaspoons cumin seed (zeera)
  1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro/coriander (both leaves&stems), finely chopped
  2-3 thai bird chillies, sliced straight into the mixture in the pan with kitchen shears.   
  Salt to taste

Method
1. Break the eggs into a bowl, add salt and whisk lightly together, just enough so that the yolks combine with the whites. 
2. Place pan over a fairly medium heat, add the butter and tilt the pan from side to side so the pan is coated evenly. 
3. As soon as the butter stops foaming and begins to turn a nutty brown, add the onions and stir for 5-7 minutes till soft and golden. 
4. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 2 minutes till aromatic. To this, add the tomatoes and stir till warmed over and slightly soft. 
5. Turn the heat to low. Add cilantro, the egg mixture and chilies. Continue to stir the eggs swiftly, for another 5-7 minutes, until they are at the point of setting and resemble a soft custard. 
6. Make sure to keep scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. Serve immediately; while warm and creamy.

Serves 4

Poached egg on toast with greens

Ingredients
  1 cup distilled white vinegar
  2 large eggs
  Sea salt and freshly 
  Grounded black pepper

Method
1. Pour 1/2 cup vinegar into each of 2 small bowls. Crack 1 egg into each bowl, taking care not to break yolk; let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a whisk, vigorously swirl water until a vortex forms in the center. 
3. Slip 1 egg with vinegar into vortex and continue to swirl water with whisk around edges of pan until it returns to a boil. 
4. The egg white should wrap tightly around the yolk, forming an oval shape. As soon as water returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium and gently simmer egg, frequently swirling water, for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift egg from water and use kitchen shears to trim any stray pieces of egg white. 
5. Place egg on paper towels and gently blot; transfer egg to a bowl or plate. Repeat with remaining egg. (If poaching more than 2 eggs, repeat using fresh water.) 
6. Season with salt and pepper. 
7. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. 
8. Rewarm in a saucepan of simmering water for 1 minute.

Mango Iced Tea

Iced tea is a refreshing change. While iced tea with lemon is great on its own, flavouring it with fresh mango puree makes it extra special. 

Ingredients
For Syrup:
  1 cup sugar
  1 cup water

The rest:
  2 teabags
  3 cups boiling water
  1 cup fresh mango puree
  1 teaspoon lemon juice
  A pinch of salt
  Ice, to serve

Method
1. To make the syrup: Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from stove and set aside to cool.
2. Add the teabags to the 3 cups of boiling water, cover, and leave to brew for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove the teabags and discard. Leave the tea to cool.
4. In a large jug, mix together the cooled tea, mango puree, lemon juice and salt.
5. Sweeten the tea with the simple syrup, according to your taste. I added 4 tablespoons, but you can add more or less according to your preference.
6. Refrigerate the iced tea until you’re ready to serve.
7. Serve over ice.

Mango Halwa

“The king of the fruits," mango fruit is one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruits with unique flavor, fragrance, taste, and heath promoting qualities. Mango is one of the delicious seasonal fruits grown in the tropics.

This halwa basically involves adding mango puree to a classic sooji halwa. 


Ingredients
  4 tbls ghee
  3 cardamom pods
  ½ cup sooji (semolina)
  2 cups water
  1 cup milk
  1¼ cups mango puree (2/3 mangoes)
  ½ cup sugar

Method
1. In a large cooking pan, heat the ghee.
2. Add the cardamom pods and fry until fragrant.
3. Add the sooji and fry on low heat until it turns light golden brown.
4. While the sooji cooks, add the water, milk, and sugar in another saucepan and heat on medium-low until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is just bubbling at the edges.
5. When the suji has browned, add the hot water-milk-sugar mixture while stirring constantly.
6. Continue to cook the halwa on medium heat until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
7. Add the mango puree and continue to cook until you have a soft halwa consistency. The halwa is done when you see the oil separate from the halwa.

Serve warm or cold, garnished with nuts.

Prepare Raw Mango For Fancy and Practical Eating

1. Hold the mango on its side and cut down on either side of the central seed. You will end with two big “halves” plus the central seed.
2. Place each half on the cutting board with peel facing down and cut the exposed flesh in a horizontal and vertical pattern, taking care not to cut too deep through the skin.
3. Then invert the whole half to push out the cubes as shown in the photo above.

Tahini and Date Cookies

These dense cookies are somewhat a cross between shortbread and naan khatai, with a wonderful sesame flavour and are not too sweet on their own so the date filling complements them perfectly. 

Ingredients
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup tahini
1 cup plain flour
¼ cup caster sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
2 tbls sesame seeds (optional)
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup water

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180F (350C).
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the butter, tahini, and sugar, and beat well until well combined.
3. Add the flour and mix with a spatual or large metal spoon. 
4. As the dough starts to clump, add the milk, a tablespoon at a time, and keep mixing until you have a stiff dough.
5. Take 1 tablespoon portions of the dough, shape into round balls and roll in the sesame seeds, if you’re using them.
6. Place each cookie dough ball on a greased baking tray, place your thumb on it and press down gently to create a hollow centre. (The dough may crack around the edges; that’s fine.)
7. If you do not want to use the date filling, flatten the cookie dough balls with the back of a fork and bake as instructed.
8. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned.
9. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Meanwhile, to make the date filling: Add the dates and water to a small saucepan and cook on medium-low heat. 
11. Mash the dates with a fork while they cook and keep stirring the mixture so that it doesn't burn. When most of the water has evaporated and you have a jam-like consistency, remove the mixture from the stove and allow to cool.
12. When the cookies and date filling have cooled, fill the hollow centres of each cookies with the date filling.
13. Decorate with nuts or more sesame seeds to serve.

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