Monthly Archives: March 2014

Salted caramel chocolate tart – no bake!

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There’s only two things I like better than salted caramel, and they are chocolate and more chocolate. This delicious tart combines luscious salted caramel on a chocolate biscuit base and it is topped with swirls of dark chocolate ganache. So quick and easy to make!

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Za’atar chicken on a sweet potato & squash mash, with rocket, orange and pomegranate salad

chicken za'tar2

Za’atar chicken, sweet potato, squash, orange and pomegranate

In this dish, I love the colour from the sweet potato and squash, along with the freshness of orange and pomegranate and the crunch of pine nuts. I used tenderloins, to keep it healthier and because well, that’s what I had in the freezer, but using skin-on chicken thighs would be excellent too.

The use of za’atar in this recipe means you need to do little else to make a super tasty meal. My za’atar came from the Saucy Spice company, made locally in beautiful Bega. They have a stall at the Kingston Bus Depo markets on Sundays.

za'atar

Za’atar

Za’atar is actually a middle eastern herb, but it is commonly known as a mixture of herbs and spices. It can be made from a variety of herbs (though oregano, thyme, sumac and sesame seeds are usually there). Mine has sumac, oregano, thyme, marjoram, sesame seeds and orange peel).

Za’atar chicken on a sweet potato & squash mash, with rocket, orange and pomegranate salad

  • Time: 45 minutes – plus overnight marinade
  • Difficulty: easy
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Serves 4

 squash

Ingredients:

  • 450g chicken tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons (Tb) za’atar
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 Tb pomegranate molasses, or another strong syrup – I used reduced cherry syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 100 g rocket leaves
  • handful snowpea sprouts
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into chucks
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cut into chunks
  • 25 g butter
  • 2 Tb cream
  • 2 Tb pine nuts (toasted)
  • ½ pomegranate, seeded
  • 1 orange, peeled with all pith removed, cut into thin slices

Method:

  • The day before, make a marinade for the chicken from the za’atar, salt and pepper, garlic, oil and cherry (or pomegranate) syrup. Place the tenderloins in a ziplock bag with the marinade, squidge it around a bit and leave in fridge overnight.
  • Turn on oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
  • Remove tenderloins from marinade and bake for about 30 minutes (turn half way through the cooking time).
  • On a separate tray, roast the sweet potato and squash, doused in a bit of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, until tender (approximately 30 minutes).
  • Once cooked, set aside the tenderloins to rest.
  • Once cooked, remove the sweet potato and squash from oven and mash together with the butter and cream. Using a stick blender, blend until thick and saucy. Add more cream or some olive oil to make it smoother if required.
  • Artistically smear the mash on a plate and place 3 to 4 tenderloins on top per serve.
  • Garnish with the orange, rocket, snowpea sprouts, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.

chicken za'atar

chicken za’atar

Ricardo’s – heaven of the north

Something this good looking cannot be bad for you

Something this good looking cannot be bad for you

Do you ever make an excuse to visit a particular suburb or set of shops so you can actually do something else that you’d much rather do, but you know it would appear excessively indulgent to be making a trip just to visit that place?  Continue reading

Limoncello – an exercise in superlative restraint

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limoncello – summertime

Limoncello is an excellent summery drink and a breeze to make. I’m always inspired to make it towards the end of summer, then realise that it won’t be ready to drink for weeks. But patience is always rewarded with this divine liquor and really, it is a good pick-me-up all year round. Continue reading

Passionfruit macarons

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Passionfruit macaron – summer days

Passionfruit curd and white chocolate macarons (Italian style)

Adapted from Pierre Hermé’s macaron recipe, copied 1000 times in different web sites.

Summer has passed us by and as I look out on this crisp Autumn morning, I am starting to think about comfort food and warm baking. But before summer is a distant memory… passionfruit!

I just love passionfruit in dessert and these macarons are the best. I went with bright yellow shells to match the curd and contrast the dark passionfruit seeds in the curd, though I think these would also look good with the shells coloured purple (like a passionfruit).  Continue reading

Piña Colada macarons

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Pina colada macaron – a little piece of summer

Piña Colada macarons (Italian style)

These macarons have a light touch of coconut in the shells and the filling has sweet pineapple studded through it, with distinct coconut and rum flavours that are not too strong.

I rolled the finished macarons in shredded coconut to create a coconutty crunch and a wonderful summery treat.  Continue reading