Simply Delicious http://simply-delicious-food.com A general food and cooking blog. I like to experiment and try all different types of cuisine and I have a passion for food photography and styling. Tue, 16 Dec 2014 04:55:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Roasted butternut salad with Danish feta, cranberries and pumpkin seeds http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/15/roasted-butternut-salad-danish-feta-cranberries-pumpkin-seeds/ http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/15/roasted-butternut-salad-danish-feta-cranberries-pumpkin-seeds/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 06:00:46 +0000 http://simply-delicious-food.com/?p=7877 Even during this time of the year, when I prefer to eat mince pies for breakfast, I still like to work in a salad every now and then. And as always, I like my salads to have lots of flavour and texture. That way a ‘boring’ salad is more satisfying and less bland. I’m a […]

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Roasted butternut salad with danish feta and cranberries

Even during this time of the year, when I prefer to eat mince pies for breakfast, I still like to work in a salad every now and then. And as always, I like my salads to have lots of flavour and texture. That way a ‘boring’ salad is more satisfying and less bland. I’m a big fan of roasted butternut squash and work it into recipes often. I love that it infuses anything you add it to with its creamy sweetness.

Roasted butternut salad with danish feta and cranberries

So I decided to make wedges of roasted butternut the star of this salad and chose the other toppings because of the way they so beautifully compliment our beloved butternut. Of course Goat’s cheese was the first cheese I though of when trying to figure out which cheese to use with butternut but that has been done to death so I was looking for an alternative. I still wanted that salty yet softness you get with goat’s cheese and that’s when I decided to use Danish feta instead. It’s a little firmer then the soft goat’s cheese I usually use and it also adds a slight brineyness to the salad. Add to that sweet cranberries soaked in hot water until they are juicy and plump, a mixture of pine nuts and pumpkin seeds which have been toasted and a delicious zesty dressing and you have a pretty fantastic salad.

Roasted butternut salad with danish feta and cranberries

This would also be the most delicious side dish for your Christmas meal but personally I’m saving this one for Boxing day when I’ll be serving it with some left-over gammon and a few loaves of fresh bread. Which reminds me, it’s 10 days till Christmas!! TEN DAYS!! I have officially become shouty because CHRISTMAS!! I can.not.wait. What have you got planned? Are you preparing a glorious feast? I want to hear all about it.

Roasted butternut salad with danish feta and cranberries

Roasted butternut salad with Danish feta, cranberries and pumpkin seeds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad, sides,
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut, sliced into wedges/rings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
for the salad
  • 4-6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, soaked in boiling water until plump and juicy
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup Danish feta, cubed
for the dressing
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
  2. Place the butternut on a baking sheet then drizzle with olive oil and season to taste.
  3. Place in the oven and allow to roast for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  5. In a frying pan, toast the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds until golden brown and fragrant.
  6. Remove and allow to cool.
  7. Arrange the baby spinach leaves, roasted butternut, cranberries, nuts, seeds and feta cheese on a large platter.
  8. For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients then pour over the salad and serve immediately.
 

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Braised Brussels sprouts with bacon http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/12/braised-brussels-sprouts-bacon/ http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/12/braised-brussels-sprouts-bacon/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 18:49:43 +0000 http://simply-delicious-food.com/?p=7871 Confession time: I have hated Brussels sprouts for all of my life. Little balls of fart, I used to call them. Just despised them. But you know what? I was wrong. Because Brussels sprouts, cooked properly, are a thing of beauty. Sweet, nutty and just perfect when served with grilled roasted meat. With it being […]

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Braised Brussels sprouts with bacon

Confession time: I have hated Brussels sprouts for all of my life. Little balls of fart, I used to call them. Just despised them. But you know what? I was wrong. Because Brussels sprouts, cooked properly, are a thing of beauty. Sweet, nutty and just perfect when served with grilled roasted meat.

Braised Brussels sprouts with bacon

With it being Christmas time, I wanted to make Brussels sprouts for our festive feast but wanted to keep it simple and have the sprouts be the star. I didn’t want to add too many flavours that would overshadow that sweet nuttiness I have come to love. So, as with most things, I added bacon and it really is true. Bacon makes everything better. The crisp, salty bacon elevated the sweetness of the sprouts to new heights. I also decided to braise the sprouts in a little stock and finished them with a knob of butter and a generous grating of Parmesan cheese. Yep, it’s indulgent but it’s also Christmas and if you can’t eat bacon, butter and cheese in the same meal at Christmas, then when the heck can you?

Braised Brussels sprouts with bacon

Braised Brussels sprouts with bacon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides, Vegetables
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 250g bacon, finely chopped
  • 1kg brussels sprouts, halved and trimmed
  • 350ml stock of your choice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cubed
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Fry the bacon in a large, hot frying pan until crisp and golden.
  2. Remove from the pan then fry the brussels sprouts until they are golden brown.
  3. Pour in the stock and season to taste then cover and allow to simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid then simmer until the stock has evaporated and the sprouts are tender but not mushy.
  5. Add the crispy bacon, butter and cheese and stir well.
  6. Serve with roasted/grilled meat of your choice.

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My Christmas wishlist + Giveaway http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/11/christmas-wishlist/ http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/11/christmas-wishlist/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:37:15 +0000 http://simply-delicious-food.com/?p=7864 Are you listening Santa? Because I’ve made my list, I’ve checked it twice and I’ve been a little naughty and a lot of nice! But seriously, if anyone (hint hint) is reading this who is meant to be getting me a gift, ALL of these would be pretty awesome to get. The kind people over […]

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Are you listening Santa? Because I’ve made my list, I’ve checked it twice and I’ve been a little naughty and a lot of nice! But seriously, if anyone (hint hint) is reading this who is meant to be getting me a gift, ALL of these would be pretty awesome to get.

The kind people over at Boardmans asked me to check out their website and compile a list of all the things I would like to receive for Christmas. Around 4 hours of browsing later, I finally succeeded because you guys! There are so many awesome things on that website. From stunning cutlery sets and wine glasses to really awesome cooking gadgets and quality cookware. It was actually really hard to only choose a few. But here they are, in all their glory:

Christmas gift guide

  1. Boardmans Cream Breadbin – I love a good breadbin and this one is just gorgeous. Made from solid steel, this baby will last you a lifetime.
  2. Boardmans Stove top whistling kettle - Who can say no to a charming, retro whistling kettle? I want one so bad!
  3. GreenPan 30cm non-stick frying pan –  I already have one of these pans but I am definitely getting another one because these are the most awesome non-stick frying pans I’ve ever used.  Not only are these pans environmentally friendly but they are genuinely good pans that deliver serious bang for your buck.
  4. Jamie Oliver crumbless bread board and knife –  Admittedly, this bread board is a little gimicky, allowing the excess breadcrumbs to fall away from the actual board but I still think it’s a gorgeous board and the fact that you get a bread knife as well makes this a really stunning yet affordable gift.
  5. Lodge square cast iron grill pan – Everyone needs a good grill pan and the Lodge cast iron ones are fantastic. These pans are out of this world and anyone who receives one this Christmas will be beyond happy.
  6. Boardmans 3 piece jam set – This adorable jam set will make such a delightful gift. Although this is labelled a “Jam set”, I could quite easily imagine it filled with different condiments at our next burger night.
  7. Jamie Oliver pasta machine – For your friend who is obsessed with pasta. A good pasta machine is a must-have in any kitchen and should you buy this for someone, you’re guaranteed an invite the first time they try this baby out. Win-win!
  8. Nicolson Russell 24 piece Conti cutlery set – Everyone loves gorgeous crockery, right? This set immediately caught my eye and I have been throwing serious hints around the house ever since.
  9. Jamie Oliver red wine glasses – I am so in love with the shape of these glasses and will admit, I’m a bit of a wine glass hoarder which is ironic because I don’t even really drink wine. But look how pretty!
  10. Consol solar jar lantern – I have a few of these jars and let me tell you, with the recent power cuts we’ve been experiencing, these babies have come in quite handy. They’re also gorgeous dotted all around your garden, should you be entertaining al fresco. They make a lovely, thoughtful gift.

But now for the fun part. Boardmans would never just tease you with all of these goodies without giving you the chance to get your hands on some of them for yourself, would they? No, they would not! I’m giving away 1 x R1000 gift card to one of my lucky (South Africa-based) readers.

All you have to do to enter is :

  1. Comment on this post, telling me which of these gifts you would most like to receive this Christmas.
  2. Sign up for the Boardmans newsletter at www.boardmans.co.za 
  3. Tweet your gift pick mentioning @BoardmansSA, @SimplyDelishSA, a link to this post (http://bit.ly/1wAICoE) and #GiftMyHome in the tweet.
    Example: I’d love to receive the Jamie Oliver glasses in the @Boardmans & @SimplyDelishSA giveaway: http://bit.ly/1wAICoE #GiftMyHome

This giveaway is only open to South African residents. This giveaway will run from Thursday, 11 December until Thursday, 18 December 2014 (7 days). The winner will be notified via e-mail so please ensure you enter with a valid, active e-mail address and that you will be able to claim your prize next Thursday  the 18th, as Boardmans would like to ensure you get your gift card before Christmas.

Thank you to Boardmans for working with me on this post. All ideas and words are my own. 

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The perfect Prime-Rib Beef Roast http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/10/perfect-prime-rib-beef-roast/ http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/10/perfect-prime-rib-beef-roast/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 05:59:35 +0000 http://simply-delicious-food.com/?p=7858 What could be better than serving your guests the most impressive roast, done to perfection, on Christmas? Nothing much really. And as far as impressive cuts of meat go, the prime-rib has it in the bag. There are very few things as “oooh”-inspiring as a glorious standing rib roast (as it’s also known). And then […]

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The perfect prime rib beef roast. Golden and seared on the outside with a tender, unctuous interior.

What could be better than serving your guests the most impressive roast, done to perfection, on Christmas? Nothing much really. And as far as impressive cuts of meat go, the prime-rib has it in the bag. There are very few things as “oooh”-inspiring as a glorious standing rib roast (as it’s also known). And then to make it better, I don’t think beef gets much more delicious than this. A prime-rib roast is pretty much just a giant rib-eye steak and if you’ve never had a perfectly done rib-eye, what are you even doing here? Go out right now and experience true deliciousness. Anyway, the prime rib is pretty much that PLUS the intense flavour the bones add as well as a healthy layer of fat on top of the tender, juicy meat. It’s a double whammy of flavour plus real succulence. You can’t go wrong.

A glorious prime rib beef roast, ready to be seasoned and roasted.

Now, many people will tell you to roast a prime-rib to a perfect medium rare but I tend to disagree. Put down your pitchforks, I’ll explain why. Because there is so much fat going on in this cut, I prefer to roast it to that perfect place between medium rare and medium. This allows the fat in the meat to cook through and become perfectly unctuous while the outer layer of fat is allowed to brown to a crisp (note: NOT burn). You are left with an incredibly indulgent roast. Serve this with gravy made from the pan juices, a head or two of roasted garlic and a few of the sides I’ll be sharing with you tomorrow, and you’re golden. This is such a killer celebration meal and one that will be completely welcome on Christmas day.

The perfect prime rib beef roast. Golden and seared on the outside with a tender, unctuous interior.

The perfect Prime-Rib Beef Roast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beef, Roast,
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 1 x 3kg prime rib roast, bones attached
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil/butter
  • sea salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 head of garlic, tops cut off
  • 4 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
  2. Rub the beef with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper, ensuring the meat is seasoned all over.
  3. Place the vegetables and herbs in a large roasting tray and place the beef on top.
  4. Cover with foil and place in the oven.
  5. Roast for 20 minutes at 200°c then turn the heat down to 150°c and roast for 20 minutes per 500g for medium rare beef and 25 per 200°c for medium rare - medium beef. I wouldn't suggest cooking it for longer than that as that could result in dry, bland meat. I have become a slave to my meat thermometer (which is the most precise way to ensure your meat is done the way you like it) and removed the beef from the oven when the interior temperature reached 55-60°c (around 130-140°F). This along with the 30 minutes resting time allowed for the perfect almost medium interior I was after.
  6. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of cooking for the fat to become beautifully golden brown and crisp.
  7. Remove the beef from the oven then place on a large plate/board and cover with foil.
  8. Allow the beef to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. At this stage you can make the gravy with all the delicious juices left in the roasting pan.
  9. Carving is easiest when you remove the entire hunk of meat from the bones, which is relatively easy with a sharp knife.
  10. Carve the meat into thin slices and serve with gravy and side dishes of your choice.
 

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Mini chicken pies with exotic mushrooms http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/09/mini-chicken-pies-exotic-mushrooms/ http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/09/mini-chicken-pies-exotic-mushrooms/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 07:32:42 +0000 http://simply-delicious-food.com/?p=7850 As promised last week, I’ll be sharing my Festive menu with you this week and you guys, we’re starting with a goodie. Let’s me just start by saying that I know. I know this is the gazillionth chicken pie recipe on this website. I know I have a problem but you know what? I don’t […]

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Mini chicken pies with exotic mushroomsAs promised last week, I’ll be sharing my Festive menu with you this week and you guys, we’re starting with a goodie. Let’s me just start by saying that I know. I know this is the gazillionth chicken pie recipe on this website. I know I have a problem but you know what? I don’t even care because you know what? The world needs as much chicken pie as it can handle and I don’t think we’re even close to that point yet. Besides, who doesn’t love a good chicken pie? Crisp, buttery pastry filled with a creamy, chickeny, mushroomy filling? Hells yes please.

Mini chicken pies with exotic mushroomsExotic mushrooms

I made little mini versions of this as the starter/canapé for my Christmas meal because I wanted to start the meal off with something a little indulgent but also wanted to keep it small enough so my guests could eat them while standing up with a drink in their hand. I’ve found that, even though I really love the formal dinner party set-up, a plated starter can often feel very stiff and I like to keep things quite casual. This way I can pass platters of these around while the guests are all mingling. (If you have vegetarian guests for Christmas this year, check back next week when I’ll be sharing a fabulous recipe for butternut & brie hand pies.)

Mini chicken pies with exotic mushrooms

I made these little pies in a muffin tray because it’s the easiest way to get loads done in one shot but you could make them in a similar way to the French onion puffs I made a while ago. I prefer the muffin tray method because you get a lot of filling per pie, making them substantial enough for a starter but if you’d prefer to have them more suited to a canapé size, I’d suggest going for the French onion puff method. For the filling I decided to use a shop-bought rotisserie chicken because a) It’s already cooked, b) Rotisserie chickens have incredibly flavour and c) they are often cheaper than buying a raw chicken and cooking it from scratch. I shredded the chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones and then mixed it with sautéed exotic mushrooms, garlic, lemon, thyme and a good dollop of Dijon mustard. A bit of Crème fraîche mixed in to keep everything moist (but not wet) and you have an absolutely mouth-watering filling. Seriously though, I ate this by the spoonful while making these pies because it’s that delicious. (Side note: this filling would be AWESOME in a grilled cheese or quesidilla.)

Exotic mushrooms used in mini chicken pies. Cook’s note: If you’d like to make these ahead, simply assemble them fully then cover the unbaked pies in clingwrap and foil in the muffin tray and freeze. Bake them from frozen and just extend the baking time by 10-15 minutes to allow the filling to completely thaw and warm through. 

Mini chicken pies with exotic mushrooms
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Pie, Canapé, Starter, Chicken
Serves: 15-18 pies
Ingredients
for the filling
  • 250g exotic mixed mushrooms, chopped into relatively small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (skin and bones discarded)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Crème fraîche
for the pie
  • 2 x rolls pre-made puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
  2. In a large pan, sauté the mushrooms in a splash of olive oil until golden brown then add the garlic.
  3. Sauté for another minute then add the thyme and lemon juice.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
  5. Mix the mushrooms with the shredded chicken, mustard and Crème fraîche then season to taste.
  6. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and cut into discs big enough to fit into the holes of a muffin tray. Remember to cut discs the size of the muffin holes for the tops.
  7. Place the bigger discs in the muffin trays, shaping them to fit in snugly then fill with the chicken filling. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg then top with the pastry lids and crimp the sides.
  8. Brush with the remaining beaten egg and cut a slit in the top of each pie to allow steam to escape.
  9. Place the pies in the oven and allow to bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
 

 

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Christmas table decoration ideas http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/04/christmas-table-decoration-ideas/ http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/04/christmas-table-decoration-ideas/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 09:50:26 +0000 http://simply-delicious-food.com/?p=7828 It’s the most wonderful time of the year, indeed. Christmas carols and twinkly lights all around, that festive spirit in the air. Man, I love Christmas. My mom was the Queen of Christmas. She absolutely adored the festive season and would decorate the entire house in kitsch but lovely decorations, her Elvis Christmas CD was […]

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Christmas table inspiration

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, indeed. Christmas carols and twinkly lights all around, that festive spirit in the air. Man, I love Christmas. My mom was the Queen of Christmas. She absolutely adored the festive season and would decorate the entire house in kitsch but lovely decorations, her Elvis Christmas CD was well worn and she would spend ages making sure every moment was a special one for us. I have well and truly inherited that love and now I am the one hanging fairy lights on EVERYTHING, playing Christmas carols from morning to night and sprinkling glitter on anything I can lay my hands on.

Christmas table inspiration

Christmas table inspiration

Of course all of this just builds up to the big day which for us is a family affair filled with love, laughter and lots of good food. I always take my time planning my Christmas table and this year is no different. And today I share some of my inspiration with you because let’s face it, no table is as important as a beautiful Christmas table. You can also look forward to LOTS of Christmas food inspiration over the next week. I’ll be sharing an entire meal’s worth of recipes with you from the starter, the main and the sides to the delectable dessert. But for now, let’s get going with the table.

Christmas table inspiration

Christmas table inspiration

Christmas table inspiration

Christmas table inspiration

I wanted to create a beautiful, crafty table so I called in some help. My friend Lynné  from STIKI supplied me with the most gorgeous decor including the most beautiful place mats made from cork, name tags, adorable napkin rings and some Christmas tree decor all cut from wood. This added a lovely neutral, earthy touch to my table which included lots of red and white for that proper Christmassy feel. I used a 4 meter length of muslin (cheesecloth) which I bought from my local fabric store as a table cloth. I used it as is with the edges raw as I really loved the rustic texture it added. I also loved the way it bunched up on the floor. 

Christmas table inspiration

Christmas table inspiration

Christmas table inspiration

As Christmas in South Africa is usually beautifully warm I decided to set the table under the pergola in our garden and to add more Christmas cheer, I hung Christmas tree ornaments from it to create a beautiful canopy over the table. For a similar effect, you can hang ornaments from a chandelier in your dining room or look for a beautiful big branch which you can decorate and use on the table. I just love this table with its casual yet put-together appearance and I can’t wait to recreate it on Christmas day. What will you be putting on your Christmas table this year? Do you have any other ideas for me? I’d love to hear them!

Christmas table inspiration

Visit STIKI’s website to have a look at all their beautiful laser cut goodies.

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Macaroni & Cheese with brussels sprouts and bacon http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/01/macaroni-cheese-brussels-sprouts-bacon/ http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/12/01/macaroni-cheese-brussels-sprouts-bacon/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 06:59:24 +0000 http://simply-delicious-food.com/?p=7822 Today is the first of December. How even? How is this year practically over? And why is it that the older you get the quicker the years go by? Me no likey! Anyway, I can’t complain to much because this time of the year is by far my most favourite time of the year. Christmas […]

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Mac & Cheese with brussels sprouts and bacon

Today is the first of December. How even? How is this year practically over? And why is it that the older you get the quicker the years go by? Me no likey! Anyway, I can’t complain to much because this time of the year is by far my most favourite time of the year. Christmas carols, twinkly lights all over and that generous sense of spirit that seems to be in abundance all make this my favourite season. Another thing? The food! Man, there’s no food like Christmas food. And I get especially excited about the left-overs. The possibilities are endless and nothing thrills me as much as finding half a gammon (ham), some turkey or left-over vegetables in the fridge after a big meal.

Mac & Cheese with brussels sprouts and bacon

I know so many people turn their noses up at left-overs but what you need to remember is that left-over food is simply begging to be used. You see, the wonderful thing about left-overs is that all the work has been done for you. You don’t have to wait hours for that gammon or turkey to cook, you don’t have to wait for the brussels sprouts to reach that perfect level of caramelisation in the oven. None of that. All you need to do is think of a way to incorporate them into your next meal. And I’m not lying when I tell you that the possibilities are endless. A gammon can be turned into a delicious pasta bake, slices can be used in a delectable Eggs Benedict or you can chop it up and combine it with peas in a frittata. Turkey can be used in any way you would use left-over roast chicken. Salads, sandwiches and quesidillas are just a few options. Today though, I’m focussing on the brussels sprouts that you might have lying around after your Christmas meal.

Mac & Cheese with brussels sprouts and bacon

Later this week I’ll share my recipe for the perfect brussels sprouts with you (and believe me, I used to be VERY anti-sprouts before I tried this recipe) which can be turned into this insanely delicious macaroni & cheese. The sweetness of the roasted brussels sprouts is so perfectly complimented by the salty, cheesiness of the mac & cheese and the bacon? Well, what isn’t better when you add bacon? This is such a great meal for Boxing day and will leave you feeling satisfied and will stretch that Christmas cheer just a little bit further.

Macaroni & Cheese with brussels sprouts and bacon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta, Dinner, Lunch
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
for the cheese sauce
  • 100g butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 litre milk heated with 1 bay leaf, 5 black peppercorns and a garlic clove
  • 150g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
for the mac & cheese
  • 500g macaroni, cooked
  • 2-3 cups roasted brussels sprouts
  • 1 packet bacon, chopped and fried
  • ½ cup grated cheese, for the topping
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan then whisk in the flour.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes until thick and glossy.
  4. Add the cheese and remove the saucepan from the heat.
  5. Season with salt & pepper and add the nutmeg.
  6. Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce then mix in the brussels sprouts and bacon.
  7. Transfer the pasta to a casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese then place in the oven.
  8. Allow to bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes then serve.
 

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Easy-Peasy chicken strips with smoky dipping sauce http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/11/30/easy-peasy-chicken-strips-smoky-dipping-sauce/ http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/11/30/easy-peasy-chicken-strips-smoky-dipping-sauce/#comments Sun, 30 Nov 2014 06:36:59 +0000 http://simply-delicious-food.com/?p=7817 Let’s face it, getting your kids to eat healthy is just not possible all the time. More often than not they are going to prefer a burger or a chicken nugget over the nutritious meal you’ve prepared and that is both infuriating and discouraging. I know. I’ve been there. You spend time slaving over pots […]

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Crispy chicken strips with smoky dipping sauce

Let’s face it, getting your kids to eat healthy is just not possible all the time. More often than not they are going to prefer a burger or a chicken nugget over the nutritious meal you’ve prepared and that is both infuriating and discouraging. I know. I’ve been there. You spend time slaving over pots and pans cooking good food stuffed with vegetables and other necessities and they just turn their noses up at it. Sigh.

Crispy chicken strips with smoky dipping sauce

That’s why sometimes it’s just easier to give in and give them the burgers and the chicken nuggets. But on your terms. Making “junk food” yourself takes the junk right out. You know what’s going into that burger because you’ve made it. You know there’s no pink sludge in those chicken nuggets because you cut the fresh chicken yourself. And believe me, kids lap it up. They think you are the coolest mom for giving them chicken nuggets (or in this instance, strips) for dinner. I’ve also found that if you give them something like these (incredibly delicious) chicken strips for dinner, they’re more likely to eat the salad/peas/carrots/insert-whichever-other-vegetable-you-want-them-to-eat-here. It’s a win-win for all. Oh, also, these really are so good, I ate an entire plate-full myself for dinner when I made them. I mean, why should the kids have all the fun?

Crispy chicken strips with smoky dipping sauce

Easy-Peasy chicken strips with smoky dipping sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Chicken, Dinner, Lunch, Snack,
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 250ml (1 cup) flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 packets Knorr Crispy & Tasty Chicken Coating
  • 1 litre sunflower oil, for deep-frying
For the dipping sauce:
  • 250ml (1 cup) tomato sauce
  • 1.25ml (1/4 tsp) smoked paprika
  • juice of half a lemon
Instructions
  1. Slice the chicken into strips.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan.
  3. Place the flour, eggs and crumb coating in three separate bowls.
  4. Coat the chicken strips first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the crumb coating.
  5. When the oil is hot, fry the chicken until golden brown, crisp and cooked through.
  6. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on kitchen paper.
  7. To make the dipping sauce, combine the tomato sauce, smoked paprika and lemon juice.
  8. Serve the chicken strips hot with the smoky tomato dipping sauce.
Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Knorr. I developed this recipe for their #CrispyAndTasty campaign for their new Crispy and Tasty Chicken coating. All photos, words and ideas are my own. 

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Greek salad with crumbed Feta cheese http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/11/27/greek-salad-crumbed-feta-cheese/ http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/11/27/greek-salad-crumbed-feta-cheese/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 06:50:09 +0000 http://simply-delicious-food.com/?p=7812 Everyone loves Greek salad, right? Right! And if they don’t, well they’re wrong! I mean, what’s not to love? Crisp cucumber, sweet tomatoes, salty olives and creamy Feta cheese. So simple and so perfect. But that’s the case with most of the foods I love, the simpler the better. The key to preparing simple food […]

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Greek Salad with Crumbed Feta cheese

Everyone loves Greek salad, right? Right! And if they don’t, well they’re wrong! I mean, what’s not to love? Crisp cucumber, sweet tomatoes, salty olives and creamy Feta cheese. So simple and so perfect. But that’s the case with most of the foods I love, the simpler the better. The key to preparing simple food that knocks your guests’ socks off is to get the very best ingredients you can afford.

Fresh cucumber and juicy tomatoes are a given and relatively easy to get your hands on but the real stars of a Greek salad are the olives and Feta cheese. I would recommend you buying the very best Kalamata olives you can get your hands on. The difference is immense and you will be rewarded with juicy, well-flavoured olives which will compliment your salad. Then the Feta cheese. Oh, how I love Feta. With its intense saltiness giving way to a creamy after taste. I could eat bucket loads. In this recipe I didn’t want to simply serve the Feta as I usually would, as is, and decided to give it a crumb coating. After all, the Festive season is upon us and this is not the time to take the easy route. Not that this is difficult, in any way, but the extra effort is so worth it. The finished salad is a show-stopper but yet simple enough to be a good accompaniment to braaied meat or a roast chicken.

Greek salad with crumbed Feta cheese
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Salad, Sides, Starter
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
For the crumbed cheese
  • 250g Greek feta cheese
  • 250ml (1 cup) flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 packets Knorr Crispy & Tasty Chicken Coating
  • 1 litre oil, for frying
For the salad
  • 1 packet salad leaves of your choice
  • 250ml (1 cup) cherry tomatoes
  • 125ml (? cup) Calamata olives
  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • half an English cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
For the dressing
  • 125ml (? cup) olive oil
  • 30ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice
  • 5ml (1 tsp) dried origanum
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. To make the crumbed feta, cut the cheese into 2-cm cubes. Place the flour, eggs and crumb coating in three separate bowls.
  2. Coat the feta cubes first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the crumb coating.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the feta until golden brown and crisp.
  4. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Place the salad leaves on a serving platter and top with the tomatoes, olives, red onion, cucumber and crumbed feta.
  6. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients and pour over the salad.
  7. Serve immediately.
Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Knorr. I developed this recipe for their #CrispyAndTasty campaign for their new Crispy and Tasty Chicken coating. All photos, words and ideas are my own. 

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Pumpkin Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/11/25/pumpkin-carrot-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting/ http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/11/25/pumpkin-carrot-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:41:11 +0000 http://simply-delicious-food.com/?p=7807 So here’s the deal with this cake: It’s pretty much diet food. What else do you call a cake that contains TWO vegetables and a fruit? Well, you could also call it delicious. Or amazing. Or the-best-cake-you’ve-ever-tasted. Whatevs. The most important thing is that you don’t feel guilty when you eat one (or two or […]

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Pumpkin carrot cake

So here’s the deal with this cake: It’s pretty much diet food. What else do you call a cake that contains TWO vegetables and a fruit? Well, you could also call it delicious. Or amazing. Or the-best-cake-you’ve-ever-tasted. Whatevs. The most important thing is that you don’t feel guilty when you eat one (or two or three or four) slice(s). And believe me, eating numerous slices of this cake isn’t all that hard.

Pumpkin carrot cake

Let’s start with the texture of this bad boy. I’m going to use the dreaded “m” word but just deal with it. This cake is so super moist, it’s almost unbelievable. This is due to the entire can of crushed pineapple with juice that is added right at the end as well as the cup of pumpkin puree. Both of which add only a hint of flavour but guarantee a soft, moist cake. Then, because of the natural sweetness of the pineapple and the pumpkin, you don’t need to use as much sugar so I only used dark brown sugar (and not that much of it). You could use regular white sugar but the Muscavado sugar I used adds an incredibly caramel flavour to the finished cake. This along with the spices and grated carrots results in a seriously delicious sponge. Finish that off with the creamiest cream cheese frosting you’ve ever tasted and you have the most incredible carrot cake you’ll ever taste.

Pumpkin carrot cake

Pumpkin Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cake, Baked goods
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 cup (packed) soft brown sugar (I used Muscavado sugar)
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 2 ¾ cups cake flour (all purpose)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • reserved juice from crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 x 400g (approx 14 oz) can/tin crushed pineapple with juice, drained but juice reserved
  • 1 ½ cups grated carrots
for the cream cheese frosting
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • juice of ½ lemon
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and grease and line 3x 20cm cake pans with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices.
  5. Add the flour and the pineapple juice, alternatively, to the creamed butter, sugar and eggs and mix until everything has been incorporated.
  6. Fold in the pumpkin purée, crushed pineapple and carrots.
  7. Divide the batter between the three prepared pans and place in the oven.
  8. Bake for 20-30 minute until the cakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  10. To make the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese then add the icing sugar and mix until thick and creamy.
  11. Add the lemon juice and mix through then stack the cakes, dividing the frosting between the layers then serve.
  12. *This cake will last for approximately one week if kept in an airtight container.
 

 

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