Butternut & Blue Cheese Creamy Gnocchi

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 packets gnocchi (bought mine at Spar, 500gr each)
  • 1 small-medium butternut
  • 500ml full cream
  • 100gr blue cheese
  • salt & pepper

METHOD:

  1. Peel the butternut, then cut into chunks.  Toss the chunks in some oil, just enough to coat and season with salt.  Place chunks into an oven dish and roast at about 150degC until soft.  Once the butternut is done, blend into a puree.
  2. Bring a medium pot with salt water to a boil.  Once bubbling, add the gnocchi.  Gnocchi will fall to the bottom of the pot, but once cooked it will rise to the top.  Drain, set aside.  I like to pour about a ladle of the hot water I used to cook the gnocchi over it, to prevent it from sticking together and becoming stodgy.
  3. In a separate pot on low heat, pour the cream and crumb the blue cheese.  Allow the cheese to slowly melt.  Stir with a whisk every few minutes.
  4. Once the cheese has melted, whisk in the pureed butternut.  Allow to cook on low heat for about 5 minutes before adding the prepared gnocchi.
  5. Slowly stir everything together and turn off the heat.  Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with some more pepper.

TIPS:

Gnocchi can become thick and stodgy, but you can thin the sauce out by adding some water or stock.

It may seem “runny” to you at first, but it thickens up as it stands.

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Enjoy every bite!  MuchLuv, BeBlessed

Sandy Nouwens

Sweet & Sticky Pork Belly 

   INGREDIENTS:

  • olive oil
  • 2-4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 “finger” of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 heaped teaspoons aniseed
  • 500ml sweet can cider
  • 125ml honey
  • 2 later water with 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • half cup lentils
  • ± 10 baby potatoes
  • ±1,7 – 2kg pork belly, cut into bite size squares

METHOD:

  1. In a large iron pot, bring the oil, onions, aniseed, coves, cider, honey, lentils, chicken stock to a simmer.
  2. Add in all the herbs and allow to cook for another 5-10min.
  3. Add the pork and potatoes, put the heat on low and cover.  Allow to cook for a few hours until the meat is tender.  Check every half hour or so to make sure the pot isn’t running dry.  If it’s still far from tender, add more cider or water.
  4. Once the meat is done after many hours of cooking, remove from pot and then allow the sauce to cook until thick.  Add more honey if need be.  Should have the consistency of syrup.
  5. Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve with warm roasted vegetables and starches like potatoes or sweet potatoes. (I added baby potatoes to the pork dish instead of roasting them separately.)

MuchPorkyLuv

Sandy Nouwens 

Coffee & Date Lamb Tagine

You may have read the title and thought there is something wrong with it?  Nope!  You read right, it’s a lamb tagine with dates and coffee, an of course, more.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ±1,2 – 1,5kg stewing lamb pieces
  • oil for frying
  • 2 large onions, roughly cut
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons dried aniseed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 100gr dates, pitted and sliced in half
  • ± 60gr lentils
  • 1 tablespoon coffee (strong) in ±250ml hot water
  • +-500ml water with a beef stock cube
  • salt and pepper

METHOD:

  1. Heat about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil/regular and fry the meat until sealed and has a beautiful brown colour.  Remove and set aside.
  2. Fry the onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Add the meat to the onion and garlic mix and allow to simmer on a medium-low heat and add the spices, dates, lentils and liquids.
  4. Boil with lid until the meat is tender on a medium to low heat (±1,5 hour). Should be a thick and rich sauce.  If too thick too early in the cooking process, add more water.
  5. Serve with rice.

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Sandy Nouwens

🍝 Spaghetti & Meatballs 🍝

 

  We all love a great bowl of spaghetti bolognese, don’t we?  Here is a very simple recipe, packed with deliciousness.

INGREDIENTS MEATBALLS:

  • 1kg mince meat
  • 2-3 jumbo free range eggs
  • half a cup cornflake crumbs
  • 80gr grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed or fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt & peper
  • flour

SAUCE:

  • olive oil/ coconut oil or good quality cooking oil
  • 1 large onion chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed or fresh
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes with its sauce
  • 1 cup water with 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 cup wine, red or white
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 4 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chutney
  • salt & pepper

METHOD:

  1. Mix in all the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, have about half a cup of flour ready to dust your hands.
  3. Scoop out the mince mixture with a tablespoon and roll in your hands.  They should be about the size of golf balls.
  4. Once you’ve made the balls, leave them aside while your start with the sauce.
  5. For the sauce, sauté your onion and garlic until translucent in the oil of your choice.  (Use a large pot)
  6. Now add the rest of the ingredients and allow to slowly boil for about 30 min if you’re using wine.  If you’re not, add more water instead of wine.
  7. Now turn down the heat to low and add in the meatballs.  Allow to cook for another 15 min.  Check one if you’re unsure if they’re cooked through.
  8. Serve with spaghetti, fresh basil and feta cheese.

TIPS:

If you’re using lean mince, you’ll need more eggs to bind it together, depending on the size of the eggs.  With 1kg lean mince, 3 jumbo eggs worked well.

Cornflake crumbs, ready packaged can cost a lot more than it should.  I buy a large bag of cornflakes and crush the amount needed.

If the sauce appears too watery, reduce it before adding the meatballs.  You don’t want to dry out the mince.

This recipe makes a whole bunch of meatballs, so best start with halving the recipe or just do what I do.  Freeze half and just reheat them for a meatball sandwich.

MuchLuv, BeBlessed

Sandy Nouwens

Vegetable Laden Lasange 

Laden? – heavily loaded or weighed down.  Synonyms:  loaded, burdened, piled high, fully charged, encumbered, oppressed, taxed, hampered. But by no means will this veggie packed lasagne make you feel like these words described above.

INGREDIENTS:

  • coconut oil for frying
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated into long slices
  • 2 baby gems or baby marrows, cut into thin slices
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 small-medium butternut
  • half a packet spinach
  • 1 large brinjal
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 200gr cheese + extra for topping
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • sheets lasagne
Thanks to my KitchenAid, I love making my own pasta.  So in this recipe, I used fresh lasagne.

METHOD:

  1. Prepare your vegetables.  Get your Mise en Place in order, as this lasagne needs you to be quite prepared and calm, or it may make you feel you took on too much.
  2. In a medium – large pot, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the onion until they’re soft.  Once transparent, add in the butternut, carrot, brinjal, baby marrow, leeks and brinjals. Lastly add the spinach.  Cover the pot and cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cans of tomato, nutmeg, oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Allow to cook for about 25-30 min.  The vegetables should be cooked enough not to be raw, but should hold its shape. Switch off the heat and leave the vegetables in the pot.
  4. Now it’s time to make your béchamel sauce.  In a small pot, melt the butter on medium heat, then add the flour while whisking to prevent clumps.  It should form a ball and move away from the sides of the pot.  Once it has done that, gradually add the milk.  Don’t stop whisking.  Your sauce should be smooth and thick. Now add the mustard and the grated cheese.  Give it a good stir and switch off the stove.  Remember to have a taste, as you may need to season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large oven proof dish, start the layers……..as follows: vegetable, pasta, béchamel, pasta, vegetable, béchamel and grated cheese.  (Basically two layers of each, except the cheese topping).
  6. Allow the dish to rest.
  7. Bake in the oven at 180-200degC for about 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and bubbling with cheesy love.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 15 min before serving.

You may have noticed I have mince in my photos, but I didn’t mention it in the ingredients or method sections.  That’s because this is actually a vegetable lasagne recipe, but I added mince as an extra added bonus for my husband.  If you are planning on adding mince, add one layer of it in between the béchamel and pasta layer; vegetable, pasta, béchamel, mince, pasta, vegetable, béchamel and grated cheese.
  

Cooked veg


First layer of vegetables

All the layers are in and it’s ready for baking.

     

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment below or on Facebook.

MuchLasangeLuv

Sandy Nouwens

FOCACCIA 

Focaccia time!

I’m all for easy bread recipes, and here is another one!  You’re welcome!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 205-230gr organic flour
  • 3ml salt
  • 5ml sugar
  • half a sachet instant dry yeast (±5gr)
  • 15ml olive oil
  • ±100ml warm water

TOPPING:

  • 80ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon flaked salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • sundried tomatoes or peppers
  • fresh rosemary
  • olives

METHOD:

  1. Sift the dry ingredients together in an electric bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil and warm water and slowly mix together for about 5 min.
  3. If it looks too runny, add tablespoons full of flour.  It should form an elastic and pliable dough ball.
  4. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to double in size.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and knock it back on a lightly floured surface.  Using a rolling pin, roll it out about 1cm thick.
  6. Place onto a baking pan. (I used my pizza pan).  Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and allow to rise again for about 20 min.
  7. Make indentations with your fingertips and then add your toppings.
  8. You don’t have to use all the toppings mentioned above, however sticking to THREE, would be a good choice.  A focaccia isn’t a pizza.
  9. Pour only about 2/3 of the olive oil when adding y0ur toppings of choice.
  10. Bake in the oven at 200degC for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  11. Serve straight out the oven!

Enjoy!

 


  

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MuchFocacciaLuv

Sandy Nouwens

Roti Flat Breads 

Roti Flat Wraps

Normally Roti is associated with a chicken curry, but I had left over chicken (not curry) and I wanted to use it to make a wrap.  Roti wraps were the answer.  I don’t know about you, but I enjoy left overs.  Especially if I can make something different with it again.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ±140gr flour, preferably organic cake flour
  • ±15ml cooking oil
  • ±125ml boiling water
  • melted butter or oil for frying

METHOD:

  1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the cooking oil and boiling water and kneed for 5 minutes, until elastic and starts forming a dough.
  3. Turn onto a floured surface.  Dust your hands and roller, as the dough is still quite sticky.
  4. Roll out a about a plate size and brush with melted butter. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and cover it with a clean kitchen cloth.
  5. Prepare your filling.
  6. Roll out the dough portions on a lightly floured surface into a thin later, almost the size of a side plate or larger if possible.
  7. Lightly drizzle a pan with some oil on medium heat.
  8. Lightly brush the rotis with melted butter or oil.
  9. Fry until golden brown on both sides.
  10. Fill with your chicken filling and fold in sides.

  

TIPS:

I had made a sweet and sticky chicken ‘stew’ before.  So I removed the meat, after which I  heated it up with the sweet sauce, mashed pumpkin and I then added peas and corn for an added texture.

I topped it with feta cheese and basil.

Remember to add enough salt to your filling, as the rotis contain no salt.

MuchFilledLuv

Sandy Nouwens