PORK and PINEAPPLE COCONUT CURRY

 

This is one of my recipes from my 20 minute cook book. It’s a great recipe and sooo quick. The flavours in it are awesome. I love the sweetness of the pineapple mixed with the hotness of the chillies. It’s to die for. The original recipe asked for some stuff that I did not have access to like Tamarind juice (mkwaju juice) and Kafir lime leaves so I substituted the tamarind by mixing brown sugar and lime juice, then I substituted the Kafir lime leaves by using the zest of a lime instead. If you can get the original products then great. I had this with some steamed rice but I think it could work well with roti, nan or chapattis. HAPPY COOKING!

 

SERVES 4

 

Ingredients

  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 10ml Thai red curry paste (available in most supermarkets)
  • 400g pork loin steaks
  • 15ml Thai fish sauce
  • 5ml light brown sugar
  • 15ml tamarind juice (I used about I tsp of dark brown sugar mixed with 15ml of lime juice instead)
  • 2 kaffir leaves( I used 1 tsp of lime zest instead)
  • ½ medium pineapple (I used canned coz its hard for me to get a good pineapples here)
  • 1 fresh red chilli chopped.

 

Method

  1. Pour coconut milk into a large cooking pot and let it boil.
  2. Cook the milk for about 6 minutes till it starts to separate. Stir frequently or it will stick to the base
  3. Remove some of the milk and place into a bowl. Mix in the red curry paste and return to pan. Stir until well mixed. Cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the sliced pork and stir in the fish sauce, sugar and tamarind juice. Cook for 2-3 minutes until all the sugar dissolves and pork is no longer pink
  5. Add the pineapple and kaffir leaves, reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes till pork is cooked. Stir in the chillies. Serve.
  6. HAPPY EATING!

 

GINGER HONEY AND YOGURT BEEF with STEAMED RICE

I tried this dish just over a week ago for the first time. I got in from Australian Women’s Weekly “Sensational Stir-fries” I was soooooo impressed by the taste of the mixture of the spices in my mouth. The tartiness of the ginger mixed with the sweetness of the honey, WOW! I liked so much so that I tried it the other day on chicken, FAIL! It dint work the same. So I guess I’ll be sticking to beef. The original recipe says you should use lamb so I guess that would work well but I do not have access to that here in the bundus. I also used ground cumin instead of seeds. The recipe also asks to use thyme and celery which I did not have so I instead used coriander instead of the thyme and did not replace the celery. HAPPY COOKING!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500gm beef/lamb fillets
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of honey(I used more)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds ( I used ground cumin)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 teaspoons fresh coriander

Method

    1. Mix meat, yogurt, garlic, ginger, honey, turmeric, and cumin in a container. Cover the container in cling wrap and place in the fridge for at least 20 mins and up to 24 hrs.
    2. Cook rice according to instructions on the pack.
    3. Meanwhile, Heat half the oil in a wok
    4. Add the pepper, onion and coriander. Stir-fry. Remove
    5. heat the remaining oil in the wok
    6. Add the meat mixture and stir fry till the meat is tender
    7. Serve over the vegetable mixture with rice
    8. HAPPY EATING!

Fruit and Nut Snack Mix

 

It’s the beginning of the year again, well Kinda, and almost everyone talks of weight loss. We are told weight loss is a lot about what we eat and that its good to have a healthy snack between meals. Well nuts are one of those  healthy snacks, they’ve got the healthy kind of fat (monosaturated and Omega 3), and they also lower the risk of heart disease and fruits well we all know fruits are good for you. This is a great snack to keep in the office, your back pack or even in a small container in your handbag, so that at least when you’re hungry you don’t have to look for a samosa. The only issue here is that it is VERY easy to over eat this snack, a handful should be enough other wise if you’re watching your calories you will be doing yourself no good, also try and avoid picking on the fruits only because they are sweet. My pal Q is a culprit of this, she always comes to my office asks for a snack, i give her the mix she picks half the fruits 🙂 and two nuts heheh no pun. Anyway  if you’re not watching your calories I guess you can go Nuts 🙂 and eat all you can. ooooh and please use roasted unsalted nuts.

 

Ingredients

Roasted Cashew nuts

Roasted peanuts

Roasted almonds

Roasted hazel nuts

Roasted macadamias

Sultanas

Raisins

Dried mangoes

Dried papaya

 

 

Method

Mix all the ingredients up together. The ratio of nuts: fruits should be 2:1. I like hazel nuts so I always use more of that. How easy is that!!!

 NB: you can find all this dried fruits at Nakumatt in the section where they put baking stuff like decorating flowers, raisins, edible silver balls etc The nuts are also available at Nakumatt

Easy (one bowl) Chocolate Cake

 

Easy (one bowl) Chocolate cake

 

A few years back when I really frustrated I went home and decided to bake. I did not have many ingredients so I took what was available out of the pantry and decided to Google for some recipes for cake. I came across an easy chocolate cake and I really liked it.  Truth be told that was also the day I begun to realize how therapeutic baking is. Well since then I have tried many other recipes all revolving around more or less the same ingredients but when I tried this one from All Recipes and I was in love. They have quite a number of them there but try this one first then the others. You will not be disappointed.

 

From the photos above you can tell that I was not able to get a picture of the whole cake. First time I made it I decided to share it with my friends so as to distribute the calories 🙂 by the time I thought that I should take a photo more than half the cake was gone. On the second Instance one of the friend I gave the cake to loved it so much that she asked me to make it for a bridal shower and I sliced it up before realizing I should have taken a photo! All in All photos or no photo this cake is great you will not be disappointed if you try it. HAPPY BAKING!

 

Serves 24

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. HAPPY EATING!

Mushroom Fillet Steak and Fries

 

Two weekends ago I woke up feeling like I could really use some Java food. Well unfortunately being in the bush the closest Java is at least 1000kms away 🙂 . So I decided to try and recreate my favourite Java dish, mushroom fillet steak with spicy fries. I looked around for spicy fries recipe and I was too lazy to try them out as they required a bit more effort and I did not want to deal with the disappointment, just in case they backfired so I stuck with my own “spicy fries”. Truth be told I LOVED IT!! It even smelled like Java in my house for a minute there. HAPPY COOKING!

 

SERVES 2

 

Ingredients

    For the steak

·        450 gm of fillet steak

·        1 tablespoon of garlic

·        3 tablespoons of olive oil plus extra for cooking

·        salt and pepper

 

       For the mushroom sauce

·        1 tablespoon butter

·        1 small onion finely chopped

·        1 teaspoon of garlic

·        200gms of mushrooms

·        2 teaspoon all-purpose flour

·        1 cup of cream

·        2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

·        salt and pepper to taste

 

        For the Fries

·        5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into French fries

·        Aromat/ garlic salt/ ground garlic

·        oil for deep frying

 

Method

1.      Slice the fillet steak into thin and small (about 5 cm width) slices

2.      Mix the oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the meat to this mixture and mix well. Put aside for about 10minutes

3.      As the meat Marinates, clean the potatoes and dry them. Mix in either the aromat or garlic salt or ground garlic and shake through.

4.      Put the potatoes into hot oil and leave to cook. Make sure you check on them every few minutes

5.      Mean while in a sauce pan put sauté the mushrooms in butter until they are slightly brown

6.      Add onions and garlic continue to sauté until onions are golden and transparent

7.      Sprinkle with flour and stir to blend

8.       Add cream, stirring a little at a time, simmer until thick and creamy

9.      Add Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

10.  In a different saucepan (as the sauce cooks) place a little olive oil on the pan and place the fillet steak cook for about 2-4 minutes on each side depending on how well done you want them.

11.  By now the fries and sauce should be cooked. Remove them from the heat.

12.  Place fillet steak on the plate, pour  the mushroom sauce on top of the steak

13.  Serve with the fries.

14.  HAPPY EATING!

 

AMARULA SUNSET

 

Seeing as it’s a Friday I thought it would be nice to share a cocktail recipe. This is more of a desert I think than an “alcoholic” beverage. Try and take a look at the Amarula website they have quite a number of cocktails up there as well. I used Strawberry ice-cream for this instead of vanilla as recommended because I JUST LOVE strawberries. I also used a lot more strawberries. I used them whole as I love the taste and feel of strawberries that have not been fully pureed. I also had to use frozen ones as I can not find fresh strawberries in Kakuma so I normally buy them fresh, clean them then freeze them my self.  If you like you could puree the strawberries first then add the rest of the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • A hand full of strawberries/ about a cup of whole strawberries
  • 50 ml  Amarula Cream (you can also use Baileys)
  • 1/2 cup strawberry ice cream ( I used Amore)

Method

Blend ingredients and pour into a wine or martini glass. Garnish with a fresh strawberry

 

Mama Cici’s Fried Rice

 

My mum has this way of taking old food and making it seem so exotic. So the other day, when I was still in Nairobi on leave, my little brothers had just left for school and the other one wasn’t home, mum decided she would “make” me old rice for dinner. I was not very amused and did not like the idea much. She kind of used everything that was in the fridge. Old sausages, bacon, ham, peas, okra, carrots etc etc. Lets just say when I had my first bite I had to call my brother and tell him how mum made me special rice because I was the “only child”. So I tried making the same rice my self the other day. Obviously it was not as tasty as mums. Maybe it was because I made my sausages and bacon fresh or maybe its because I’m just not her ( I think it’s the later) it was still pretty good. I think my friend Mona enjoyed it. Let me know how you go. HAPPY COOKING!!

 

Servers 3-4

 

Ingredients

  • Old rice (about 2 cups)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sausages chopped (cooked)
  • Bacon chopped (cooked)
  • Ham
  • Carrots
  • Red pepper
  • Yellow pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet corn
  • chillies
  • Dhania
  • Oil for frying

 

Method:

  1. Fry the onions till they turn slightly transparent
  2. Add in the garlic and cook till its aromatic and its started to brown
  3. Add in the mushrooms, cook till they start to brown
  4. Add in the sausages and bacon stir in well
  5. Add the red and yellow pepper cook for about 2 mins
  6. Add in the carrots cook for a minute
  7. Add the sweet corn, chillies and dhania. Mix very well.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste
  9. Add a little water
  10. Add the rice, a little at a time mixing well after each addition.
  11. If at any point you fill your rice is too drink, add just a little water.
  12. Let the rice warm through.
  13. Serve immediately
  14. HAPPY EATING!

NB:

  • you can use ANY vegetable or left over meat you have in the fridge. You can also leave out the meats to make it vegetarian.
  •       Feel free too add an egg and stir through on after step 11.

MANGO LASSI

As promised last week I will be putting a lot of mango based recipes over the next weeks as it is currently in season and therefore the mangoes we are getting now are fantastic. My friend Ange introduced me to the lassi (She probably doesn’t know this but she did) we once had dinner at an Indian restaurant I think and she decided to carry some home and so did I (peer pressure:-) but I loved it. Over the years I started making some my self. Most of the recipes online say you should use natural yogurt, but I always felt like they used Mala (fermented milk) in the Indian restaurants. If you do not have Mala available you could always use natural yogurt the taste is almost identical although the fermented taste is stronger with the Mala. Enjoy

Serves 4

Ingredients

1.      500 ml of Maziwa Mala or Natural yogurt( chilled)

2.      4 fresh mangoes stoned and sliced and preferably frozen

3.      4-8 teaspoons sugar, to taste (depends on your preference)

Method

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses, and serve. The lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

NB

·        Do not freeze the mango whole. I learned this the hard way I peeled my mango and froze it without first slicing it, it was hell trying to slice a frozen mango

·        Try strawberries, banana or guavas. Turns out good as well

·        You can add a few seeds of cardamom, about 4 for a added flavor,  or a dash of the ground cardamom.

Thai-style Beef and Mango Salad

Mangoes!!! Where to start? I love them, especially in the months of December to around February when they are in season  and they are  incredibly cheap and most times very sweet. So over the next couple of weeks I will try to incorporate them in many of my dishes. I had this salad for supper last night, I loved it. It was a very quick meal. I marinated the meat for about a half hour went about my business and when it came to the actual cooking it took me less than 10 minutes. I also used the marinade as a dressing and it was DELISH!!!! HAPPY COOKING

 

Thai-style Beef and Mango Salad

 

SERVES FOUR

 

Ingredients

  • 450g of steak (eg sirloin or fillet, I used fillet)
  • 45ml garlic-infused olive oil ( if you do not have this you can use regular oilive oil
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic ( if you do not have the garlic infused oil)
  • 45ml teriyaki/ soy  sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ground black pepper and salt
  • 2 mangoes, peeled, stoned and finely sliced
  • small bunch of dhania

 

 

Method

 

  1. Put the oil, garlic, teriyaki/ soy sauce, honey, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and mix.
  2. Put in the steak and make sure it is fully coated in the marinade. Marinate for at least 10 minutes, 2 hours in a covered bowl in the fridge is ideal
  3. Heat a pan and place the steak on it. Cook for 3-5 minutes each side depending on how done you want the steak to be.
  4. Transfer the steak to a bowl and let it rest for about two minutes.
  5. Meanwhile heat the marinade in the pan, cook it for a few seconds then remove it from the heat.
  6. Thinly slice the steak and arrange on four serving plates with the mangoes. Drizzle over the pan juices to serves.

 

NB:

  • If you want the steak to cook faster you can slice the meat before marinating it.
  • Use mangoes that are ripe but still firm

PENNE with GARLIC, OLIVE OIL and MUSHROOMS

I tend to have a love hate relationship with pasta. I never liked it much but with time I have come to realize that I did not like it because of how it was prepared. I saw this recipe a few years ago in a cookbook called “the best ever 20 minute cookbook”. I thought the title was interesting because hey, who doesn’t want a tasty meal in less than 20 minutes? The original recipe did not have mushrooms and used parsley instead of coriander (dhania) but I can’t really stand the taste of parsley, dhania is my favorite herb and at the time I was just discovering mushrooms. This dish takes about a max of 12 minutes to prepare. It looks great if you use red dried chilli which I did not have. I used oyster mushrooms but I’m sure it can work with any mushroom. HAPPY COOKING!!

SERVES 4

 

Ingredients

  • 400g penne (you can use any type of pasta that you prefer)
  • 90ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed (use more or less depending on your taste)
  • 2 chillies (preferably dried red)
  • A small handful of dhania (coriander) roughly chopped.
  • Handful of mushrooms, sliced

 

Method

 

  1. Cook pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water (this should take about 10-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil very gently in a frying pan.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and whole dried chilli and stir until the garlic is aromatic, add the mushrooms.
  4. When the garlic is just beginning to brown remove and discard the chilli.
  5. Darin the pasta and place it in a bowl
  6. Pour on the oil and garlic mixture, add the dhania and toss vigorously till it all mixes up.
  7. Serve immediately

 

 

Note:

·        Use very good quality cold-compressed olive oil as the oil is an important ingredient in the recipe

·        Do not use salt in the oil and garlic mixture as it will not dissolve well. Add salt to the pasta as it cooks instead.