All posts filed under: dinner

Divine food in the eternal city at Da Enzo

This was a true foodie experience. It was definitely worth waiting for about twenty minutes to be squeezed in to a table at Da Enzo in the Trastevere part of Rome. Went there on the basis of glowing reviews on a number of blogs, crossing the Tiber from where we staying near the Spanish Steps, queuing in the light rain on a nippy autumn day in Rome. We were absolutely rewarded for our efforts and I couldn’t recommend trying it out yourself when next in Rome. The restaurant is tucked into a tiny “hole in the wall” down an atmospheric laneway, it was Friday lunchtime and the other restaurants around were pretty empty but Da Enzo was heaving with lots of locals and some savvy tourists. Its reputation for serving authentic, Roman cuisine (cucina Romano) in true Roman family style has grown and grown over the years. After being shown to our table with rickety chairs and paper tablecloths by a member of the family, we pondered the menu and daily specials. Our neighbours to …

Rate this:

La Pentolaccia lives up to rave reviews!

Went to La Pentolaccia on the recommendation of a seasoned Rome resident on my first night back in the eternal city in 6 years. Having not stayed on this side of Rome (near Termini) before the recommendation was welcome as were the rave reviews on Yelp and Trip advisor.  Down a cute little street, Via Flavia, just off Via Settembre in Sallustiano, La Pentolaccia is a great local restaurant that you always want to find as a tourist in Rome. Great service from friendly, professional and slightly bossy waiters; fabulous menu boasting dishes made with fresh, seasonal produce and a wonderful Roman vibe. We had delicious grilled octopus and prawn rocket salad with an eyewateringly good freshly made horseradish dip on the side, followed by Osso bucco with delicious marrow and lobster fettuccine. The lobster fettuccine actually had large pieces of lobster claw in it and was presented in a fish formation! Followed with fresh berries and ice cream.  Solid wine list which the helpful owner?/waiter Vincenzo helped us with.  All in all a great …

Rate this:

Beef Mishikaki – looks yummy!

Been away from home for quite some time and these my mouth watering,honey balsamic beef Mshikaki was my way of welcoming myself back into the kitchen. I was feeling tired,jet lagged and starving.8 hours seated on a plane has never been a cup of tea,we all know how disappointing plane food can be. Long story […] via HONEY BALSMIC BEEF MSHIKAKI  — We Men Should Cook

Rate this:

Black Pepper Prawn Curry

The sharpness of  black pepper, bite of the green chill and sweetness of the prawns are all melded together in buttery goodness, along with ginger, garlic, curry leaves in this simple curry. Take the time to make the prawn stock as it really adds another dimension nod depth of flavour to the dish. Prep time: 30 minutes (incl making stock) Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 12-16 King prawns 2 cups water 2 cloves garlic, 2-3 small pieces ginger for stock 1 onion halved, then thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic and equal ginger, pounded to a paste 1.5 tablespoons ground black pepper (best freshly ground in spice grinder) handful of curry leaves (fresh best but dried ok) 2-3 small green chillies sliced lengthwise – can omit, or deseed 100g butter 3 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt Chopped  coriander and slithers of ginger for garnish Method 1. Peel and devein prawns, leave tails on, reserve shells for stock. 2. Place prawn shells in pot and cover with water, add ginger and garlic, bring to a boil then simmer …

Rate this:

Jackfruit, carrot and green bean curry

Growing up in South Africa we would often pass fruit sellers on the road selling these giant fruit. Although they look similar to stinky durian, jackfruit are not smelly and their fleshy texture is a great addition to vegetable curries. Full of great vitamins including Compex B vitamins and Vitamin A, jackfruit is great for your fibre intake. The humble jackfruit is becoming increasingly popular as a meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians, with it’s fibrous texture being used to replicate pulled pork and other meats. It is used in many Asian countries including  in Indonesian soups and curries – which I have enjoyed in Bali. Recently I discovered frozen green  jackfruit in an Indian grocery store in Sydney and made up this curry which was delicious! So, seek out frozen or canned green jackfruit in brine and try  it out! Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 150g frozen jackfruit pieces 1 small carrot diced 100g Green Beans cut into pieces 1 onion finely diced 2 teaspoons ginger and garlic paste 3 …

Rate this:

South African Indian Boneless Chicken Curry

A staple in any South African Indian family, my version includes a dollop of yoghurt towards the end which makes for a creamier sauce. This is perfect served just with a salad and rice for a very tasty but healthy meal. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 4 medium size chicken thigh fillets, any fat removed and cut into bite-size pieces 2 tspoons ginger and garlic paste (4 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger pounded into a paste) 1 brown onion, cut in half, then finely sliced 1 tomato cut into chunks 2 pieces cinnamon bark or 1 quill Handful of fresh curry leaves 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 3 cardamom pods 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 tesapoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons Vegetable oil 1 tablespoon plain yoghurt 1.5 cup water or chicken stock Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnish Method: 1. Heat oil in heavy based pot over medium heat, and then add cinnamon bark, cummin seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves. 2. …

Rate this:

Chicken and Mushroom Meatballs with cummin and chilli

Chicken and mushrooms have always been best friends, so I thought why not combine them in meatballs? The addition of chilli, coriander and cummin adds a zing! I had never used mushrooms into meatballs before but it worked really well, adding texture and “meatiness” to the fine chicken mince. These would be good as a starter with a sweet chilli dipping sauce or with salad for dinner. I served them for a late dinner alongside Butterflied Prawns with garlic and chilli and the Caramelised Brussel Sprout and Spinach Salad Prep time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: 20-25 minutes Ingredients 400g chicken mince 4 button mushrooms very finely diced 3/4 cup breadcrumbs 1/2 onion finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste (2 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger pounded to paste) 1-2 red chillies chopped finely 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 1/2 tablespoon olive oil Method Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius Combine all ingredients,except the olive oil, mix thoroughly check mixture is not too “sticky”. Add more breadcrumbs if needed. Mixture …

Rate this:

Butterflied Prawns with garlic and chilli

One of my favourite restaurant meals is grilled scampi with rocket salad. I recreate it at home using king prawns and using a frying pan or ridged stovetop grill. it’s a quick, easy no fuss meal but delicious. Just add a squeeze of lemon, a rocket salad, some crusty bread and a nice dry white wine for perfection! Prep time: 15 minutes  Marinade time: 20-30 minutes Cooking time: 5-6 minutes Ingredients 12 large green king prawns 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped 2-3 red chillies finely chopped 3/4 teaspoon of salt 2 tablespoons olive oil Method Shell and devein prawns leaving tail section intact. Butterfly the prawns by slicing down the back of each prawn but do not cut through and then flatten. Place into a bowl, add salt, chilli and garlic and smear prawns well but gently with marinade using rubber gloves. Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes. Salt will draw some moisture from prawns during this time. Drain any excess moisture, then add oil to prawns and mix through. Heat frying …

Rate this:

Indian Spiced Fish Pie

This recipe is based on Rick Stein’s classic fish pie recipe but with an Indian twist. The addition of traditional Indian spices to the milk and cream mixture in which the seafood is lightly poached, and using “aloo bharta” or Indian style mashed potato for the topping bring the flavours of the sub-continent to this classic British dish. (A kind of reverse colonialism, I suppose.) Prep time: 1hr 20 mins  Cooking time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 3 flathead fillets (or any firm white, unsmoked fish) 1 medium size fillet of smoked cod or haddock 8-10 green prawns peeled 2 eggs 1 egg yolk (to brush top of mash) 300ml milk + 3 tablespoons for mash 150ml cream 1 large onion 2 cloves garlic 1/2 finger length of ginger peeled 3 potatoes (fluffy potatoes like Desiree or King Edward) 6 cloves 6 cardamom pods 1.5 teaspoons turmeric 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon cummin handful of curry leaves 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds handful of coriander leaves 100g butter 1/3 cup of plain …

Rate this:

Broccoli and Green Beans with garlic, anchovies and onion 

This recipe brings together a classic combo of flavours. A quick and easy way to add flavour and bite to your greens. This is an excellent accompaniment to grilled steak and roast dinners.  I used special Tricana brand Portuguese anchovies rolled with capers for this version, but just ordinary anchovies will do fine. You can omit the capers, add chilli flakes, or add roasted almond slivers, and/or finish with lemon zest. Any or all of these additions would be just as delicious and quick!  Prep time: 15 minutes  Cooking time: 8-10 minutes Ingredients: 200g green beans (top and tailed) 250g broccoli florets 8-10 anchovies 2 teaspoons capers(optional) 1/2 onion sliced thinly 2 cloves garlic crushed 1 tablespoon olive oil Ground Black pepper  Parsley to garnish  Method: Steam or microwave beans and broccoli until just tender (al dente) – should be bright green! Set aside. Slice onion thinly Crush garlic Heat olive oil in pan, then add onions and cook over medium heat until translucent, add garlic and heat through until fragrant, add anchovies (and capers …

Rate this:

Spicy Roast Chicken with lemon and onions

This roast chicken is spiced up with an indian marinade and perked up by the lemon and onions that it is stuffed with. Perfect for any occasion from Sunday lunch or simple weeknight dinner. Delicious with roast potatoes, a crisp green salad and a crispy white wine! Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 1.5 hours Ingredients: 1 Whole Chicken (approximately 1.5kg) 3 cloves garlic 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp cummin powder 1 tspn salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 8-10 springs of thyme 1 lemon cut into quarters 1 onion cut into quarters Method: Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Pound garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle. Make marinade by mixing together chilli powder, turmeric powder, cummin powder, salt, crushed garlic and oil in a bowl. Pat chicken dry, rub inside of chicken with ¼ of the marinade. Place a few springs of thyme inside the chicken, then stuff with equal amounts of the lemon and onions. (Save any leftover onions and lemon)     Truss the chicken tying together chicken …

Rate this:

Fried eggplant and pea curry

This curry is delicious with grilled lamb, fish or chicken or as a main served with dhal, rice and roti for a vegetarian meal. Frying the eggplant pieces before putting the curry together makes the eggplant melt like butter in your mouth. Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 1 large eggplant cut into cubes 1 onion diced finely 1 cup of frozen peas 1 tomato chopped into medium chunks 2 cloves garlic and same quantity of ginger pounded into a paste Salt 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp cummin powder 1 tsp cummin seeds Handful of curry leaves 6-8 tablespoons of vegetable oil Optional: 2-3 green chillies left whole but split down the middle (remove seeds for milder outcome) ½ cup of water Handful of chopped coriander to garnish Method: Place eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle with salt, allow to sit for at least 30minutes. This allows draw some of the bitter juices from the eggplant rather than it all going into the curry sauce. Drain eggplant …

Rate this:

Durban Indian Meatballs in tomato curry sauce

This is another Durban comfort-food staple. It is often referred to as “lamb kebabs in chutney”. This curry is delicious with roti or rice and a dollop of cucumber raita. I often make extra meatballs and freeze them as they can also be used as an appetizer, just grilled from frozen and served with a  Mint Chutney or Chilli Sauce on the side. These meatballs can also be cooked with borlotti or cannellini beans for an Indian version of the Spanish dish of meatballs and beans in tomato sauce. Adding beans changes the texture of the gravy making it “more creamy” and much heartier than the basic tomato version. Ingredients Meatballs: 1 kg lamb or beef low fat mince ½ onion finely diced 4 cloves garlic and equivalent amount of fresh ginger peeled 1 teaspoon cummin powder ½ teaspoon turmeric powder 2-3 fresh red chillies chopped finely (can be deseeded for less heat0 1/4 bunch of coriander finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons worth) 1 egg beaten 1 teaspoon of salt To make meatballs: Use a mortar and pestle …

Rate this:

Durban Style Chicken Briyani

Briyani-Breyani-Biryani…, however you want to spell it, is a traditional feast dish in the homes of Indian families. The accompaniments of Grapes Apple Mint Raita, Indian Spicy Mint and Coriander Chutney, Roasted eggplant with cummin and yoghurt and Red Lentil Tarka Dhal with turmeric and ginger make the serving of biryani a true foodie experience. This family recipe includes lentils, boiled eggs, spicy potatoes along with the marinated chicken and golden fried onions which combine for a protein and carbohydrate packed pot of deliciousness. Definitely best kept for special occasions! The chicken can be replaced with lamb for an equally wonderful result. This recipe should be started the day before or early in the morning to allow the chicken to marinate in the yoghurt-tomato based marinade which tenderises and flavours the chicken. The time and effort required to prepare this delicious layered rice dish is definitely worth the effort and the leftovers are especially delicious the day after I have organised this recipe with the ingredients and method for each different steps to make it …

Rate this:

Baked Italian Sausages with red capsicum and onions

As the cooler days approach here in Sydney, this is a quintessential comfort food dish which will warm your heart and soul in true Italian style. Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 1.5 hours (including grilling capsicum) Ingredients 6-8 Italian spicy sausages or merguez sausages 2 red capsciums 2 large onions cut into thickish slices 3-4 tablespoons Olive oil 4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped 3 red chillies sliced lengthwise (optional) Handful of fresh basil and parsley Crusty bread Method Heat oven to 150 degrees celcius Place whole red capsicums on roasting tray and place in oven for 35-45 minutes until skin is black and blistering, turn during cooking process to evenly blacken capsicum Meanwhile slice onions, heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and cook onions slowly until just golden Remove capsicum from oven and place in plastic bag, tying up ends of bag. Allow capsicum to sweat inside plastic bag for 5 minutes which will loosen skin. Increase oven heat to 180 degrees celcius. Place sausages in a baking tray, …

Rate this:

Prawn, fennel and coriander Gow Gee – steamed dumplings

I created these little treats because I was searching for a light, healthy but hot appetiser that would complement an Indian dinner without filling guests up too much. Steaming these dumplings is easy and quick and you can do this just before or as guests arrive which if you want to use these as canapés which works well. The ready made “gow  gee” pastry is easy to find in Asian food store refrigerator section and very simple to work with. You will also need a steaming basket or steamer. I used fennel, ginger, cummin, fresh coriander and ginger to add subtle Indian flavours to the prawn filling. Most steamed dumplings recipes don’t require you to cook the filling beforehand but I decided to so I could roast the fennel seeds and use cooked onion. I didn’t use any chilli in these as I planned to serve with chilli oil on the side. Ingredients 8 large, green or uncooked prawns – shelled, deveined and chopped into medium dice 1/2 onion very finely diced 1 tablespoon vegetable …

Rate this:

Prawn Caldine with tamarind and ground almonds

This recipe is inspired by Rick Stein’s version with a few adjustments to make it an easy mid-week dish. It is lightly spiced but the addition of green chillies adds a hint of heat. The tamarind water adds a sweet sour component which complements prawns or fish brilliantly. The ground almonds add another dimension and help to thicken the sauce but can be omitted if you prefer. Prep time: 15 minutes  Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 500g fresh or frozen prawns(defrosted), preferably with tails left on OR 500g firm white fish 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp black peppercorns 1 tsp cummin seeds 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 onion thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic and equivalent amount of fresh ginger 2 tablespoons ground almonds (optional) 400ml coconut milk 3 tablespoons tamarind water (made using tamarind seeds or concentrate) 4-5 mild green chillies, cut into long strips coriander to garnish salt vegetable oil Method Place peeled (and defrosted) prawns/fish chopped in pieces in a bowl and marinate for 10 minutes or so …

Rate this:

Thai Red Roast Pork

This is a succulent roast pork recipe that is so easy to make. As well as being delicious thinly sliced and accompanied with cucumbers as a centrepiece of a Thai meal, the leftovers are delicious in Thai Pork Noodle Soup. If you can’t be bothered making it, of course you can buy red roast pork readymade from your local Chinatown. Prep time: 5 minutes Marinate: minimum 2 hours or overnight Cooking time: 50 minutes Ingredients: 1 kg of pork loin fillets 1/2 teaspoon red food colouring 1/4 cup of water 1 tablespoon each of fish sauce, hoisin sauce, light soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine or sherry 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger 3 cloves garlic crushed 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder 2 star anise crushed 1 tablespoon sesame oil Coriander to garnish Method Put all ingredients except pork, water and red food colouring in a blender and blend until a smooth paste form Mix red food colouring and water in steel or ceramic bowl Add pork and using gloves massage food colouring, then …

Rate this:

Homestyle Osso Bucco

As winter approaches here in Australia slow cooked Osso Bucco is a great recipe to warm the soul. Osso bucco is the cross-cut shank of veal featuring the marrow bone. You can use beef osso bucco but they tend to be much bigger and take longer to cook. I really prefer the smaller veal osso bucco. Order from your butcher if you need to. The meat in this recipe is slow cooked until tender and just falling off the bone and the marrow becomes soft and adds great flavour to the sauce. sucking the marrow out of the bones is not elegant but highly recommended! Served with a zingy gremolata, creamy mash and a fresh rocket and fennel salad, this a fabulous one pot wonder dish that will impress family and friends. It is very simple to cook and is economical as well with a short, sharp ingredients list. Prep time: 20 minutes  Cooking time: 2 hours Ingredients: 12 small veal osso bucco (about 1.5kg) 1 cup plain flour for dusting osso bucco 100 grams …

Rate this: