Snap, Sizzle & Cook

Sharing my love of food

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Salty Cheese Straws (Gluten Free)

When making a dough, Gluten free flour can be quite challenging to work with because of its lack of elasticity.  These cheese straws were just that.  They couldn’t be twisted so had to be gently rolled and squished to get that straw like effect. It was well worth the extra little effort because they are delicious!

You will need:
1 cup of all-purpose Gluten free flour
60g salted butter (cut into cubes)
2 Tbsp. cold water
1 Cup grated Cheddar cheese
5ml Maldon Salt
A bit of milk to brush the pastry

Place the flour and cheese into a mixing bowl.  Add the butter and work into the flour with your fingers.  Once well combined add the water to form a dough.  If too sticky, add more flour. 

Break off bits of dough and squish between your hands till an even straw like shape has been formed.  Repeat this step with the rest of the dough.  Brush straws with milk and bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.  Allow to cool and sprinkle with Maldon salt.


Smoked Lentil & Butternut Bobotie

One of my absolute favourite Vegetarian combinations is that of butternut and lentils, so a big thumbs up to the ingenious person who came up with Butternut and Lentil Bobotie.  I’m sure (vegetarian or not) most people have tried this easy, cost effective meal which goes a long way.  In my recipe, I’ve used smoked lentils, which gives this dish such a unique flavour.   This meal is an absolute must for meat free Mondays.

1 medium sized butternut
15ml Masala Spice (I used Ina Paarman)
Olive Oil
1 tin smoked lentils
1 onion
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. peach Chutney
400ml Coconut Milk
3 Eggs
3 – 5 Bay Leaves
30ml almond flakes

Peel and dice the butternut.   Place on a baking tray and toss with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Masala spice and bake at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes (insert skewer to check if done).

Peel and dice onion and fry with curry powder and peach chutney till onion is transparent.  If mixture becomes too thick and sticky add a bit of juice from tinned lentils to water down. 

Drain (retain juice) and rinse lentils and add to the onion mix.  Simmer for about 5 minutes adding retained juice as needed. 

Once butternut is done remove from oven and add to lentil mix.  Combine well ensuring not to mash the butternut.  Place in an ovenproof casserole dish.

Beat eggs and add coconut milk.  Pour over butternut and lentil mixture, place bay leaves on top and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.  Turn grill on and grill for 5 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and sprinkle with almonds. Serve.

Rice Bread

Gluten free bread is genuinely an acquired taste no matter what flour is used in the recipe. When I went on my quest looking for gluten free bread, I was honestly shocked at the prices and have therefore decided to make my own. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the larger retail shops and health shops have made it much easier to prepare gluten free foods and bakes at home as the relevant ingredients are now readily available.

You will need:
500g Rice Flour (purchased at @PicknPay)
500ml buttermilk
10ml Baking powder
5ml Salt

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. If the mixture is still too crumbly and dry, just add a little bit of full cream milk until the mixture is thick but not dry. Place in a greased bread baking tin and bake at 180 degrees for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

Boiled Orange Cake

In my quest for my family (and me) to live a healthier lifestyle, I have decided to cut wheat entirely from our diets.  I know this is a huge challenge on its own for many people who just want to eliminate the unhealthy protein called Gluten found in wheat products from their diets.  Most foods like breads, pasta’s, sauces and cakes contain Gluten so where does one start?  It’s always been a daunting thought for me and I’ve therefore brushed it aside as too much of a mission.  Nowadays it is a bit easier as a few large retail stores stock some gluten free pasta and breads as well as Gluten free flours making baking less of a formidable task. 
Crunchy Orange Cake (3)
A recipe that I have modified to suite my own tastes is a boiled orange cake which is made without flour.  It is absolutely delicious and if kept in the fridge will last up to a week.  It is a great way to use up uneaten oranges in the fruit basket so nothing goes to waste.

3 medium oranges
30ml Honey
6 large eggs
1 cup castor sugar
3 Tbsp. cornflour
5ml Baking powder
50g Sunflower Seeds
50g Sesame Seeds
50g Pecan Nuts
150g Pumpkin Seeds
For the Syrup:
250ml Fresh Orange Juice
4 Tbsp. Castor sugar
Seeds of 1 Vanilla pod

Boil unpeeled oranges in water for 1 hour.  When cool, remove seeds and pulverize with skins on to a smooth pulp.  Add honey.
Beat eggs and castor sugar well until light and fluffy.   Combine nuts and blitz to resemble coarse crumbs.  Add cornflour and baking powder and fold into egg mixture.  Mix well and fold into oranges.  Place mixture into a greased round spring form cake tin and bake at 180 degrees for 45 – 50 minutes.  In a small saucepan, bring the syrup ingredients to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved.  Pour over orange cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Leave to cool.
Serve with Sour cream.

Sweet Potato Salmon Fishcakes

This recipe like a lot of my other recipes is by trial and error.  The successful ones I blog and the flops I dare not even mention.   I’m sure my husband and son could write a series of books on the disasters.  Be that as it may, I love what I do and I love learning from my mistakes.  It’s all about experimenting and enjoying the process of trying different components and seeing how they work together.  The downside is that it can be costly.
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You will need the following for these scrumptious fishcakes
600ml cooked Sweet potato
2 (213g) tins of John West Salmon (you can use fresh salmon too)
Small bunch of Parsley (finely chopped)
Half an onion (diced)
4 Tbsp Peanut Satay sauce
1 Egg plus 1 egg yolk
125ml Flour
Salt and pepper
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Sweet potatoes naturally contain a lot of water, so rather roast them in the oven as opposed to boiling on the stove top.  Allow to cool when done and using a potato ricer, mash over a sieve so that most of the naturally stored water is drained.  Set aside.
Fry onion in a little olive oil till transparent.   In a large bowl, add all ingredients together and mix well.
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Heat about a cup of canola oil in a heavy based frying pan.  Shape spoonful’s of the mixture into patties, dust in a little flour and fry until golden.  Enjoy with a squeeze of lemon juice and a lovely green salad.
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Sex and the City
Love it or hate it, Sex and the City introduced a whole new generation of cocktail drinkers (myself included) to the fabulous world of the cocktail. The Cosmopolitan was Carrie Bradshaw’s (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) drink of choice throughout much of the Show
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The Cosmopolitan’s history is somewhat uncertain.  Until recently it was thought to have originated during the 80s, perhaps based upon the Harpoon, a drink created to promote Ocean Spray juice during the 1960s.  Clearly this drink has come a long way and despite its up-to-date modern image today, the recipe follows the classic sour-family cocktail recipe of base spirit (vodka), sweetener (Cointreau) and sour (lime juice), with a bit of cranberry juice thrown in to add an extra bit of tartness and a nice pink color.
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Although pricey, I think it’s worth every cent to purchase a bottle of Cointreau to keep on hand for those refreshing cocktails such as Margaritas, Cosmopolitans and believe it or not cooking prawns.  But that’s a recipe for another day.
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Here’s my mix for a gorgeously refreshing and moreish Cosmopolitan
1 tot of Vodka
1 tot of Cointreau
Juice of 1 Lime
100% Cranberry juice

Mix the Vodka, Cointreau and lime juice together.  Pour into a Martini Glass and top up with ice cold cranberry juice.
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