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    Monday, May 25, 2015

    The Best Stew - Cajun Style

    Here's a tasty stew.

    Being a “clever” shopper!!! I noticed that there was an amazing  special at the supermarket... about 12 mixed coloured peppers, for only $3.99. That is really cheap at this time of the year
    Also there was beef on special, close to use by date, but that's fine, planning to use it straight away.
    Plus I found an organic chicken cheap as chips,  sectioned that and straight into the freezer.

    Peppers are very much part of Cajun cooking,
    They form part of The Trinity,  Onion, Peppers and Celery
    The main base of Gumbo, Jambalaya Or anything your Cajun heart desires.

    Perfect, so I found some Cajun seasoning in my pantry and started work on this very tasty stew
    Which we ate with mashed potatoes
    The rest of the peppers, I roasted, marinated them in olive oil, and they are in my fridge
    They will last for ages

    There was some Pinot Noir remaining in a bottle
    Good, wine such a good addition to any meat dish


    500 gms Beef chopped into 1 inch pieces
    2-3 tablespoons flour, seasoned with sat and freshly ground black pepper
    2-3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 x onion roughly chopped
    3 Capsicums seeds removed and chopped
    2 sticks celery
    2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
    Slosh of wine
    1 can Chopped Tomatoes
    Water to cover

    Toss the chopped beef into the seasoned flour
    Heat the olive oil in a pan till it its hot
    Add the beef and brown the pieces
    Place in an ovenproof dish
    Add the onions to the pan and they will pick up the nice crispy bits
    Cook till soft but not browned
    Add the capsicum and celery
    Continue to cook until they are soft as well
    Add the Cajun seasoning
    Keep cooking for about 5 minutes to cook the spices out
    Add the wine. this will help to deglaze the pan
    Add the tomatoes
    Stir well and then pour over the meat in the dish

    Rinse out the pan with some hot water, so that all the lovely flavours are not lost
    Add to the meat
    Make sure that everything is just covered
    You may need to add some more water

    Bake in 170C oven for about 2 hours
    The meat should be tender and the sauce thickened

    I served with mashed potatoes
    Perfect for a Winter Night

    Of course There was too much for two people and there were left overs
    The mashed potatoes were turned into fish cakes
    And the stew into a lasagne
    Which was layered with Bechamel and some of the roasted peppers

    You could use some of those peppers in the jar, bought from the Supermarket
    Up to you the amount you use

    So, first, I made a béchamel sauce
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoon flour
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup milk
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

    Melt the butter in a small pot
    Add the flour to make a roux
    Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook out the flour
    Season with salt and pepper
    Infuse the milk with the bay leaf
    I just pop it into the microwave for about1 1/2 minutes to heat it

    Pour the hot milk onto the roux
    Stir, till it is smooth
    Let it simmer away for about 3-5 minutes
    Add the cheese and set aside
    Drain the oil off the peppers
    Open a packet of lasagne sheets
    I like to use these Barilla Sheets, no need to pre-cook

    So to assemble the lasagne
    A spoonful of béchamel
    Lasagne sheets
    The stew

    Roasted peppers

    Lasagne and top with the remaining Béchamel

    Cover with oiled foil
    Cook in a 180C oven for 30 minutes
    Take the foil off and finish off for another 15 minutes

    The top should be golden and the sauce bubbling
    The aroma. so inviting

    What a really tasty dish. Just like a bought one

    Sunday, May 10, 2015

    Stretching Your Dollar - Simple Fish Pie - Don’t Waste Food

    We entertained last night and I over catered a little.

    I peeled too many potatoes, chopped too much parsley. Our friend George, brought up freshly caught Trevally which I cut into Sashimi pieces.
    It was delicious, so so fresh, we just dipped into soy sauce.
    There was quite a lot, so I quickly put the overs in the fridge.
    Now, a day older, I decided I should do something else with it.
    What quickly came to mind. Fish, Potatoes?
    How about a fish pie for dinner tonight?

    I constructed a Bechamel Sauce, popped in the chopped Parsley
    The zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
    Next I added the fish
    Find a nice little pie plate to cook in

    Meanwhile I brought the potatoes to the boil, added some hot milk mashed them up
    Beat it some cold butter

    Spread it over the top
    Ready to go into the oven

    Dinner done
    That's tonight sorted

    Tomorrow night the actual leftovers : Lamb, Tomato and Potato Bake with Leeks and Peas
    Tastes a lot better that it looks
    Before we cut into it. Very tasty. tender lamb

    Thursday, May 07, 2015

    French Toast Roll Ups - What a Great Idea. Kids Love these

    When I saw this recipe, I know I had to make it. Kids love French Toast and Churros
    This is, you may say... a "poor man's" Churro.
    I made this for dessert, if you wanted to make them for breakfast, maybe just drizzle over some Maple syrup
    So you tust turn your Nutella filled French Toast into cigar shapes,  and dip in egg and milk.
    Shallow fry in butter
    Dust with sugar,  flavoured with cinnamon and orange zest
    Dip into a warm velvety chocolate sauce and
    Voila Heaven
    Mine is right!
    I grabbed this recipe off a friends Face book page and she got it from the Cinnamon, Spice and All 
    Webpage. I have made a couple of changes
    Reeni the host, suggested that you could use other spreads, but our kids adore Nutella
    I thought it could be nice, filled with grated cheese, like the Southland Cheese Rolls
    When they were cooked you could shake them around in finely grated Parmesan perhaps
    Maybe a few herbs?
    I will try that
    Once again, this is the time when only the plastic white bread, will do
    2 per person and sometimes you could almost eat more

    10 slices white sandwich bread
    2 eggs
    3 tablespoons milk
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Zest of a medium Orange
    Butter, for frying

    Trim the crust from the bread and flatten it out with a rolling pin.
    Spread the Nutella over the bottom 3/4 of the bread

    Roll the bread up and repeat until they're all filled.

    In a shallow bowl whisk the eggs and milk until well combined.
    In a separate bowl mix the sugar with the cinnamon and orange zest
    In a skillet set over medium heat melt a tablespoon of butter.
    Add the rolls to the egg turning to coat on all sides then place them in the pan seam side down.
    Cook in batches until golden brown, turning them to cook and brown on all sides.
    Add butter to the pan as needed.
    Add the hot rolls from the pan to the orange and cinnamon sugar and roll until completely covered in sugar.
    Meamwhile whip up this very simple sauce to dip them in

    100 gms choc chips
    50 mls cream
    50 mls milk
    1/1/2 tbs golden syrup

    Place everything in a small pot
    Heat gently till melted
    I think everyone needs their own little bowl of sauce
    Dip your French toast into the yummy warm Chocolate


    By the way not just for kids. We loved them too