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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chicken Cacciatore

This dish kept coming up on "Everybody Loves Raymond," so I finally looked it up. I can't vouch for its originality, but it's really good. I mean, chicken, bell peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms - what's not to like :). Recipe from

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

1/2 cup flour for coating
1 lb chicken, cut into pieces
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup fresh mushrooms, quartered
salt and pepper to taste


Combine the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper in a plastic bag.
Shake the chicken pieces in flour until coated.
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Brown chicken pieces. Remove from skillet.
Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper and saute until the onion is slightly browned.
Return the chicken to the skillet and add the tomatoes, oregano and wine.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for 10 more minutes.
Sprinkle with basil and serve over pasta or rice.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ham and Cheddar Soup

Very delicious :). From here.


2 cups cubed potatoes
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen peas
3 cups water
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed ham
salt and pepper to taste


Put carrots, potatoes, peas and water in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and cook until vegetables are tender (10-15 minutes).
In a separate dish melt butter and whisk in the flour.
Stir in milk.
Bring to a boil, then simmer stirring continuously until the mix starts to thicken (about 2 minutes).
Add the grated cheese and stir until it melts.
Finally, add the ham and the vegetables with their water.
Bring to a boil again, then take off heat and enjoy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Avocado pasta

A very easy, quick Italian-with-a-twist recipe.

Ingredients for 4 people:

400 grams of pasta, preferably linguine (though spaghetti and fusilli work as well).

4 ripe avocadoes.

150 mililiters of sour cream.

salt and pepper.

Boil the pasta for 8 mins, add 2 teaspoonfulls of salt during cooking. In the meantime, peel the avocadoes and mash them in a bowl with a fork. Mix sour cream. The whole thing should take a lovely lime green colour. Add the pasta. A great way to get the sauce to really seep into the pasta is, once you've taken the water out of course, to put the cooked pasta and the sauce back into the pan to mix them together. Add pepper if you want a bit of spice.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Eggplant Fan

For eggplant fans :). Source.

Ingredients (for one serving):

1 small eggplant
1 tomato
~ 100 g feta cheese
50 g oil
50 g water
thyme to taste


Cut eggplant in 1 cm (1/2 inch) slices but don't cut it all the way:

Soak in salty water for about an hour. Take out and rinse.
Cut tomato in slices. Cut cheese in slices.
Put a slice of tomato and a slice of feta cheese (and a clove of garlic if you wish) into each cut.
Sprinkle thyme on top.

Pour water and oil in baking dish.
Cover and bake at 200 C/400 F for about an hour.
When eggplant is done, sprinkle some grated yellow cheese on top and bake it uncovered for additional 10 minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Checkered Cake

It's big (you might want to halve the ingredients), easy and pretty much mistake-proof :). Source.


For the cake:
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
400 g (a little less than 3 cups) sour cream or yogurt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the cream:
1 kg (7 cups) sour cream
1 cup sugar

For the icing:
100 g (7 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons sugar


Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C.
Beat eggs, sugar, flour, sour cream and baking powder together.
Split in two, add cocoa powder to one half.
Pour each half into a separate baking dish and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

In a large bowl stir sour cream and sugar together.
Break cake layers into bitesize pieces.
Dip each piece into sour cream mix, and arrange them on a serving plate in the form of a cake.
Drop all of them into bowl and stir well.

And flip on a plate:

For the icing:

Melt butter on low heat.
Mix in milk, sugar and cocoa and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Cool and pour on cake.

Refrigerate cake for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fake Sweet and Sour Pork

Sounds positively disgusting, and it's absolutely messy to eat but it's surprisingly good, especially considering the effort that goes into making it. The coke helps create a caramelly glaze and the vinegar in ketchup serves as a tenderizer.


2 pork chops
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup coke


Stir ketchup and coke together.
Poke steaks with a fork (or cut them into bitesize pieces), and cover with marinade.
Leave in fridge for about 2 hours.
Drain meat but reserve the marinade.
On high heat brown the meat for about 2 minutes per side.
Pour in the marinade, cover and simmer on low heat until meat is cooked through.
If you want more sauce, you can make more, just keep the ratio of coke to ketchup at 1:1.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ginger Beer Pork

Another invention of mine. Make sure you use real brewed-from-ginger beer, not the soda water with ginger flavouring that is passed off as ginger beer by some companies! I used Bundaberg Ginger Beer, but I don’t know whether this is available overseas.

This will appeal to anyone who enjoys fruity meat dishes such as apricot chicken and apple cider pork. It has a sweet, spicy tang to it.

Ingredients for one person:

120g pork fillet, cut into strips or squares
1/4 brown onion, finely sliced
125mL (1/2 metric cup) ginger beer
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)


1. In a hot non-stick frypan, dry-fry the onion until it is turning brown and soft.

2. Add the diced pork fillet and fry, turning constantly, until meat is browned.

3. Turn the hotplate down to medium and add the ginger beer. Cover and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

4. In a glass or cup, place the cornflour (cornstarch) followed by few tablespoons of water and stir firmly until it is completely dissolved.

4. After the 5 minutes are up turn the heat back up and bring the ginger beer to the boil. As soon as it is boiling add the dissolved cornflour and stir constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat as soon as it is thick.

I served this with rice, green peas and corn kernels. It was very tasty!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower

A fast and easy side dish :).


1 medium head of cauliflower
2 eggs
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 500 F (260 C).
Separate cauliflower into fairly large florets and boil (or steam) them until soft but not mushy.
Beat egg with flour. Stir in parmesan.
Dip each cooked floret into the egg mix and arrange them on a baking pan.
Season to taste.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden.
And serve: