Potato and Zucchini Rosti

So, I am desperately trying to get more creative in the breakfast side of things, for me breakfast = egg, maybe toast or oats and of course some form of fruit.  I remembered these little morsels of fried up joy and wondered if I could just put an egg on it and call it breakfast…. nah, probably not, but then again ….. probably ??? Oh well, end result,  I caved, I was not feeling adventurous and did not do the egg. But maybe next time.  You know, as much as I love these I still do not like the frying part.  I do not know what it is with me and oil, I am just not a fan.

Anyway, these are really simple to do for any time of the day, and for whatever meal you want them for. A bit of grating and chopping is involved, and you are good to go, throw it all together, make balls, squeeze and fry.  I mean, what could be easier.  Personally, I can eat them as is, but if I want to get a bit fancier, I crumble up some feta on the top and they are even great with feta and some roasted peppers….I know, I know, all these possibilities and then imagine an egg on the top 🙂 if your heart desires.

Potato and Zucchini Rosti

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  35 minutes

Makes 4

Ingredients:

1 cup grated potato

1 cup grated zucchini/courgettes/large marrow

Freshly cracked salt and pepper

1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic

4 Tablespoons (60 milliliters) finely chopped onion

Sprinkling of dried chilli flakes

Oil for frying

To serve:  feta cheese and roasted peppers

Instructions:

Grate the potato and place in a dish towel and squeeze out any excess water. Place in a medium-sized bowl.

Grate the zucchini and place in the same dish towel and squeeze out any excess water.  Place in the same bowl as the potato.

Season well with salt and pepper.

Place the prepared garlic and onion to the bowl with the potato and zucchini.

Add the chilli flakes. Stir well to combine.

In a medium sized skillet or frying pan, heat up some oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

With a tablespoon, scoop out a heaped tablespoon of the mixture.  Take this tablespoon of mixture in your hands and over a bowl, squeeze.  You will find there is even more water content which needs to be released, and this is from the salt, so this is okay.  Once the water has been released, place the ball of potato and zucchini into the hot skillet and fry.  Flatten the ball slightly and fry evenly on both sides until golden brown.

Eat whilst hot.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  If you are going to serve these with the roasted peppers, make sure the peppers are roasting in the oven, whilst you are frying.  That way, everything will be hot.

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Mom’s Cornish Pasties

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These are just the best.  Super easy to do, and so quick.

Wow, these always bring back memories.

I remember growing up and my mom, made them often.  We all enjoyed them. She usually had to do a double batch as, no sooner had the trays come out of the oven these pasties vanished in the blink of an eye.  My dad always was the instigator, always sneakily removing one from the cooling rack thinking my mom had not seen him….my mom would give him a look, and his response would be “oh, I am just testing one” giving my mom a kiss on the cheek when he ‘got caught’. Of course my mom didn’t mind, it must have been so gratifying to her, to know her food was so well appreciated and loved.

My mom, only ever used rump steak with these, and I must be honest I have never made them with anything else.  Its fascinating to know that literally a few ingredients could make such a tasty pie.

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These pasties are great cold as well, so are wonderful to make and take on picnic’s or have the next day for lunch…whatever, they are the best.

The pastry could not be easier.  I usually make sure I have a batch in the freezer, its my go-to pastry.

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For the Pastry:

Mom’s Quick and Easy Pastry

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Total time:  10 minutes

Ingredients:

425 grams Holsum or white Wooden Spoon Margarine

1 cup boiling water

4 cups of All Purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

In a large bowl, add the white wooden spoon margarine, cut up with a knife into smaller pieces.  Do not melt.

Add the boiling water, and stir with a wooden spoon or metal tablespoon.  Stir till the margarine has practically melted.  Don’t worry if there are a few bits of margarine that you can see.

Stir in the flour and salt, well.

Place the pastry in cling wrap or a plastic packet/bag and  put in the fridge until it firms up.

You can freeze this pastry perfectly.  Just when wanting to use it, take it out of the freezer and allow it to de-frost.

For the Cornish Pasties:

Mom’s Cornish Pasties

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Makes 16

Ingredients:

500 – 560 grams rump steak

2 large potatoes or 4 smaller ones

1 large onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, ground

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions:

Firstly, roll out the pastry on a clean, floured surface, until about 2 millimetres in thickness.

I used a saucer to create the size of the pasties I wanted.  Place the saucer on top of the rolled out pastry and with a sharp knife, cut around the saucer, using the saucer as your guide. Continue this method until all the pastry is used up.  You will need to re-roll the pastry a few times in order to finish up the pastry.  Set all the pastry circles aside and then place them on two lightly floured baking sheets. My baking sheets were  approximately  22 x 32 centimeters/ 8.75 x 12.50 inches in size.

Cut up the rump steak into bite size pieces, and set aside.

Dice the onion up finely, and add to the rump steak.

Heat up a large frying pan on medium heat with a little oil, and lightly brown the rump steak and onions.  Add a little water to create a natural gravy if necessary instead of adding more oil.

Grate the potatoes with a fairly large grating blade and place in a large bowl.

Add the browned cut up rump steak pieces to the bowl, together with the onions.

Add the salt, pepper and rosemary.

Mix together with a metal tablespoon.

Now, add a tablespoon or two of the meat mixture into each pastry casing. But only on half the pastry casing, and not too close to the edge of the pastry edge. (The other half of the pastry will need to be flipped over a little later in order to cover the meat mixture.)

(If you have any meat mixture left, like I did, place in a sealed tupperware container and freeze till you have more pastry to make more)

Dampen the edges of the pastry casings with a little water.

Then, flip the half that does not have meat mixture on it, over, in order to cover the meat mixture.

Seal the edges by pinching them together with either a fork or by using two fingers.

Make a few holes on the top of the pastie, using the end of a knife sharpener or just a knife.  This will allow heat to escape from the pastie whilst cooking.

Now, with any left over juices from the meat mixture, get a teaspoon and add a little juice into each hole in all the pasties.

Place the trays in the preheated oven at 220 degrees C/425 degrees F.

After 10 minutes, reduce the oven to 160 degrees C/ 325 degrees F and allow to cook for 20 minutes.

Frequently watch and make sure the pasties do not cook too quickly and burn. If you do find they are browning too quickly, place a piece of aluminium foil over them to avoid burning.

Enjoy 🙂

Vegetable and Nut Patties

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This is my all-time favourite vegetarian meal.  I originally found the recipe many years ago in an old South African cookbook called Budget Recipes.  It is a cookbook written in both English and Afrikaans by Robin Ayrdon.  Budget Recipes was published by Pick ‘n Pay Hypermarkets (Pty) Ltd.  Unfortunately I was not able to find an actual date in which it was published.  This recipe impressed me to the extent ‘I had to try it’, and that was the start of a vegetarian meal being cooked each and every week.

When I first tried it, I was a little dubious as the hubby is a real meat and potatoes kind of man, but he surprised me with compliments on the meal and is now looking at vegetarian meals with an open mind (but only once a week, I am not allowed to push it.)

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I have slightly changed some of the quantities of the ingredients from the original recipe…. Anyway these patties are easy to make.  I find them a little messy when making into patties with all the ingredients sticking to my hands and fingers, but that is the joy of making patties. The ingredients are not too crazy either so that makes it great.  I did add my home made Sweet Chilli Sauce just for a bit of  ‘kick’ to the dish this time, but this is totally optional.  In the past I have also added my home made Mayonnaise to the dish with pureed green chillies, both go exceptionally well with the patties.

All in all it is a great supper dish.  I love the crispness of the patties on the outside and the crunch of the vegetables and nuts on the inside.  The combination is to die for !

After eating them, it is a feeling of pure health, it is amazing, and definitely a feeling of wanting more.

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Vegetable and Nut Patties

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Serves 4 -6

Ingredients:

125 grams (125 ml) red/orange lentils

150 grams (125 ml) raw peanuts

1 large white onion

3 large carrots

2 celery stalks

10/12 weetbix cereal blocks

5 ml dried parsley, 5 ml dried thyme and 5 ml dried origanum)

4 extra large Free-Range eggs*

salt and pepper to taste

a little vegetable oil for frying

Instructions:

Soak the lentils for a few minutes and cook in microwave for 2 minutes.

Once done, drain well and set aside.

Dry toast the peanuts *

Chop the toasted raw peanuts till course and leave some whole if preferred.

Finely chop up the white onion.

Grate the carrots.

Slice the celery.

Crush the weetbix.

In a large mixing bowl add half of the crushed weetbix.  The remaining crushed weetbix place in a shallow dish, this will be used for the coating of the patties before frying them.

Then add the cooked lentils, toasted peanuts, onion, carrots to the large mixing bowl with half of the crushed weetbix.

Add the herbs, salt and pepper.

Stir well.

Lightly whisk 2 eggs with a fork and add to the mixture and combine thoroughly. (if you feel the mixture is too dry and you are unable to combine into patties, add another egg.)

In a separate bowl add some flour.  This is for coating the patties.

Whisk the remaining eggs in a bowl and set aside.  This will be used for the coating of the pattie before the coating of the crushed weetbix.

Add some flour to your hands, and with the help of a tablespoon, start making the patties.

Place each pattie into the egg mixture making sure the egg coats the entire pattie,  then cover the pattie with the crushed weetbix. *

On a medium heat, fry the patties in a little oil until each side is golden brown. Do not deep fry.

Drain the patties on paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

Serve immediately with a crisp salad or potatoes of your choice.

Enjoy 🙂

*  Depending on the size of the eggs, you may require another egg for coating the pattie.

*  I toast or ‘dry fry’ my nuts on top of the stove in a pan, with no oil as nuts produce their own natural oils.

*  Depending on how much you love weetbix, you may need to add extra crumbled weetbix for coating.

 

 

 

Baby Spinach and Pepper Frittata

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I am so grateful for the cooler weather today.  Don’t get me wrong I love the sun, but now and then welcome a cooler day especially when it has been so hot.

I had great plans today of all the things I wanted to do, but I have a feeling that not too much is going to be accomplished.  I just am in a relaxed frame of mind  and feel like taking things in my stride for a change.  (no real harm in that, is there?)

So here I am , sitting in my lounge, alongside two of my cats, Taylor and Dexter, drinking green tea and writing this post.  I thought I would share today my frittata recipe with you.  I love frittata’s, they are just so simple to make and best of all you can put anything in them !  This frittata is filled with goodness and all health.  I decided on vegetarian. I just had to, as the last several days I have been eating….lets say more ‘of what I should not be eating’. Yes…I am feeling a bit guilty, but it is fine…I will just eat loads of vegetables and attach myself to the treadmill.

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This frittata is filled only with a couple of vegetables, baby spinach which I love and peppers.  I usually like to use at least three different colours of peppers, but only had two in the fridge.  I enjoy the different colours of the peppers, and apart from the taste, they make the frittata look pretty 🙂  a clove of garlic which is also so good on the health aspect and loads of eggs.  If you are not keen on the garlic, you can leave it out, its really up to you.

My vegetarian frittata cooks for 3o minutes in the oven, and it rises ! But its okay, once it is nice and golden brown take it out of the oven.  Once it cools, it will flatten.  This frittata is so soft and succulent it practically melts in your mouth. It is not only great for breakfast but is ideal for any meal at any time of day.  For a light dinner, just add salad.

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Baby Spinach and Pepper Frittata

Preparation time:  8 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Total time:  38 minutes

Serves 8-10 depending on size of slices

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 large green pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

Coconut oil for frying

10 extra large/jumbo free range eggs

2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons of chopped fresh parsley *

1 1/2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme *

(or 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of any mixed fresh herbs) substitute for dried herbs will be 1 teaspoon only). *

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Saute’ the onion, peppers and garlic clove with a little coconut oil in a frying pan.

Once done take the frying pan off the stove and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, lightly beat all the eggs with a fork or a hand whisk.

Add the onions, peppers, garlic, baby spinach herbs and spices into the medium sized bowl (with the eggs) and mix to combine using a metal spoon.

Transfer into a well greased oven proof dish (approximately 20 cm x 20 cm or 8″ x 8″) and place in oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

The frittata will rise in the middle.

Once taken out from the oven, allow to cool in the oven-proof dish and cut accordingly.

Enjoy 🙂

 

*  I use a Spray ‘n Cook for greasing

*  Feel free to increase the herbs and spices to your liking