Tag Archives: beans

#pasta and bean soup | pasta e fagioli

#pasta and bean soup | pasta e fagioli

I made this lovely pasta e fagioli (pasta + bean soup) the past weekend. This is the best-known peasant dish in Italy and Antonio Carluccio’s recipe. He says that every Italian region, sometimes every town, has a pasta e fagioli, which is a charming and warming cucina povera (“poor kitchen”) dish. It can be very thick or more soupy according to the area of its origin.

Antonio sees this soup as the benchmark of every restaurant! If a chef cannot make it properly, then he is not a good, nor conscientious chef.

Its easy and delicious. Enjoy!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

#pasta and bean #soup | pasta e fagioli
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pasta e fagioli
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Serves 6
  • 300g fresh borlotti beans, or 200g dried beans soaked in cold water overnight and drained (I used 400g tinned beans)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • a few pieces of cured Italian ham (I used a packet of good bacon)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 liter chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper
  • 150g tubetti pasta (I used macaroni)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to serve
Instructions
  1. Put the beans into a heatproof earthenware pot or large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook gently, allowing one hour if using fresh beans, 1½-2 hours if using dried. Don't salt the water or the skins will remain tough. When soft, drain and puree half of the beans in a blender or food processor, then mix together with the whole beans.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and bacon and fry until softened. Add the basil, rosemary, stock, chilli if using, tomato puree, beans and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, then add the pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
  3. Leave to stand for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to mingle. Reheat if you like, but in Italy soups are more often served warm rather than hot, even cold in summer. Top each portion with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

 

SONY DSC

Comment on this Post

the warm soft mexican scotch egg = the language i speak

the warm soft mexican scotch egg = the language i speak

Food is the language I speak. So you may ask Scotch eggs from Werda Mexican Beans? How did I end up with Scotch Eggs – and not with a traditional Mexican dish that the ingredients were shouting for? Well, the story goes something like this…

SONY DSC

I have never tasted this specific Werda salad before, so armed with a pair of scissors and a spoon I found myself in the PnP aisle. I had to taste these beans before I could even decide on what to make… so there and then in the store I cut open a packet of bean salad and tasted it.

The salad was not as spicy as I had imaged so I decided that I needed an already spiced protein to add to the meal. What better place to look than the sausage section? The PnP “Chilli-Chimichurri wors” literally jumped into my shopping basket. Then I spotted the eggs next to the sausage display … and that is how the idea behind the Scotch Eggs was born.

The beans and sausage proved to be a delicious fiery combination for the outer casing of the warm Scotch Egg. I then baked bread to make homemade Melba toast – also using this bread for the crumbing of the egg. I served this with a warm spicy tomato salad, avocado salsa and some herby sour cream. All in all, a delicious light summer meal.

…And this, my friends is the short tale of how I came upon the Mexican Scotch Eggs – it is the kind of food that speaks my language.

SONY DSC

Serve: 2
Preparation time: 1h45mins (including bread making)
Cooking time: 2 hours

1. Scotch Egg
150g PnP Chilli-Chimichurri wors. Meat removed from their sausage casings
150g beans from Werda Spicy Mexican Bean Salad, drained and finely crushed using the back of a fork. Retain the salad sauce as we are going to use this along with the spiced tomato salad
2 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 Tbsp spring onion, chopped
2 Tbsp cake flour

Other ingredients
4 soft boiled eggs, peeled (on how to cook a perfect soft egg – see below)
1 egg, beaten
½ cup cake flour for dusting
1 cup bread crumbs (see method below)
Oil for deep frying

Method
For the outer layer: Mix all the ingredients together. Make 4 even balls and place in fridge until needed.
Prep your table. Put your flour, beaten eggs and crumbs each on a plate in this order on the table.
Take a piece of cling wrap and place it on your kitchen work surface. Lightly oil one side of the cling wrap. Take a meat ball and flatten it out on the oiled cling wrap, shaping it into an oval patty with your fingers. Remember that your patty must be large enough to wrap around the egg. Roll the soft boiled egg in flour. Place the egg in the middle of the patty. Pick the cling wrap up with the flattened meatball and egg inside and using your hands gently mould the meat around the egg from the outside of the cling wrap.
Roll the meat-wrapped egg in the flour, then in the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs. Set aside and repeat the same process for the other three eggs.
Heat oil in a deep pot to 160 ˚C and fry each egg for 7 minutes until golden.

2. Spiced warm tomato salad
150g cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Werda Spicy Mexican Bean Salad sauce
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper

Method
Fry the tomatoes on high heat in the olive oil for 3 minutes. They just need to scorch and burst slightly open.
Add the rest of the ingredients and heat through for another 2 minutes.
Set aside.

3. Ingredients for the avocado salsa
1 avocado, sliced in small blocks
1 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 Tbsp spring onion, chopped
½ tsp olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Large pinch of salt
Pinch of milled black pepper

Method
Lightly toss all ingredients together.

4. Herby Sour Cream ingredients
3 Tbsp PnP sour cream
1 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 Tbsp spring onion, chopped

Method
Mix all the ingredients together and put in fridge until needed.

Melba Toast Method
Preheat oven to 120 ˚C.
Cut 4 thin slices of bread. Cut-off the crust from each of the bread slices.
Roll the bread slices with a rolling pin until flat and thin, and then cut the rolled bread slices in half.
Place the bread slice on an oven rack and bake for 15 minutes.
Increase the oven heat to 180 ˚C and bake for a further 10 minutes until the bread has toasted to a golden brown.
Place the oven toasted bread into an air-tight container.

Breadcrumbs Method
Preheat the oven to 120˚C.
Cut 4 thick slices of bread – here I like to leave the crust on.
Bake for about an hour or until dry.
Crumble the bread finely with your hands and place in an air tight container.

6. To assemble
Serve two eggs per person. Take one warm Scotch egg and cut this in half. Place the half cut eggs next to the whole egg. Add the Melba toast and top this with some of the warm spicy tomato salad. On the side, add the avocado salsa and the herby sour cream. Add some salt and pepper on the side of the plate.

7. How to boil a perfectly soft egg
Prepare an ice bath – using a bowl of water with ice cubes in it.
Put the eggs into a pot of cold water and bring to the boil. When your pot begins bubble (not boiling profusely) start your timing. Boil the egg for 4 minutes.
Take the eggs out with a slotted spoon and place these into the ice bath.
Once cold, carefully peel the eggs under running w

Comment on this Post

duo homemade samoosas

duo homemade samoosas

This delicious recipe was inspired by a very interesting ingredient list (see list + rules at bottom of this post) I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #4 competition.

SONY DSC

I always wanted to make my own samoosas from scratch. The pastry + the stuffing + the folding…everything! This is what I did this week … the pilchards + beans made perfect samoosa fillings. Looking back at this amusing and time consuming exercise, the toil paid off with its own self-satisfying rewards. I learnt so much. I must confess it took me more than some time to perfect the dough-making method. After all was said and done, I looked like some kitchen drifting poltergeist all covered in flour, dough and shrapnel’s of samoosa pastry.

But … OMG I am proud of these little triangular pastry parcels – they may not be perfect in shape, nor do they have a perfectly smooth outer layer. Deep fried they look like they may have picked up a case of the measles, but let me tell you they are light, crispy and so yummy. The pilchards were hot + morish and the beans and feta were delightfully scrumptious.

home made samosa

On top of it all I decided to try the dark lighting method to shoot the samoosas (this was my first attempt) – this took another few hours but I am really proud of the outcome of my photographs. All in all it proved to be such an interesting exercise culminating in fabulous samoosas and a very contented blogger.

SONY DSC

Tips for making samoosas
Take your time and be patient :-).
Use a paella pan to heat the dough for the pur separation process.
If you don’t feel like making the dough you can use spring roll wrappers.
You can replace ghee with oil.
For a healthier option – bake the samoosas.
For exceptional Indian recipes – Indian Delights by Zuleikha Mayat (ISBN 062005688-6)

SONY DSC

 

duo homemade samoosas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Samosa Dough + Pur (the samosa pastry ready for filling)
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1tsp cumin seeds, roasted
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp ghee, melted
  • ⅔ cups water
  • Extra flour for making the pur
  • Extra melted ghee for making the pur
  • Flour and water, mixed
  • Bean + feta filling
  • 1Tbsp lemon infused olive oil
  • ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 50g onions, chopped
  • 50g green beans, blanched and diced
  • 50g brown rice, cooked
  • 100g PnP Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt
  • Milled lemon black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • Pilchard filling
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp chilli flakes
  • 2-3 tsp “Father in Law” masala or medium hot masala
  • 4 fresh curry leaves
  • 100g onion, chopped
  • 100g cabbage, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato juice (from the sardine can)
  • 2 (100g) pilchards (from the sardine can)
  • Salt
  • Milled black pepper
  • 2Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Instructions
  1. Dough + pur method - Mix flour, salt and the roasted cumin seeds together.
  2. Add the ghee and mix well with the tip of your fingers.
  3. Add the water and knead into smooth dough.
  4. Set aside for 30 min to rest.
  5. Divide dough into 10 “ping pong” sized balls – +- 4cm.
  6. Roll each ball into 6-8 cm diameter round disc.
  7. Place 5 disks on top of each other after brushing both sides with ghee and sprinkle flour between them. Only the bottom of the bottom disk and the top of the top disk should be ungreased. Do the same with the other 5 discs.
  8. Roll out one pile into a large 30 cm round disc.
  9. Cut into a rectangular shape.
  10. Heat an ungreased plate, place the disc on the plate and let it heat up for a few seconds until the sheet changes in colour (not brown) – turn the sheet over – heat and then remove from the flame – this will separate the sheets.
  11. Do the same with the second pile.
  12. When cool trim the pur into two-inch strips, separate the sheets and use these for your samosas.
  13. Method for fish filling - Heat the oil on medium heat, add all the spices and cook for 2 minutes.
  14. Add the onions and cabbage and fry till translucent.
  15. Add the tomato juice and pilchards and mix well. Cook for a minute or two.
  16. Season with salt and pepper.
  17. Lastly add the fresh coriander.
  18. Bean and feta filling method - Heat the olive oil and add the mustard, cumin and chilli flakes. Fry for 2 minutes.
  19. Add the onions and fry till translucent.
  20. Add the green beans, brown rice and feta cheese – mix well.
  21. Season with salt and pepper.
  22. Lastly add the fresh coriander.
  23. Samoosa folding and frying - Mix a bit of flour and water together and smear on the sides of the pur. It acts as “glue” for the pastry.
  24. Place a teaspoon of the filling mixture at one end of the pur strip, leaving a 1cm border.
  25. Take the right corner and fold diagonally to the left, enclosing the filling and forming a triangle.
  26. Fold again along the upper crease of the triangle. Keep folding in this way until you reach the end of the strip.
  27. Fry in batches at 180 ºC until golden brown.

Samosas-6

image from xawaash.com

Samosas-5

image from xawaash.com

Ingredients + Rules for challenge #4

1 x 400g tin Lucky Star Pilchards
1 medium cabbage
1 small packet of brown rice
1 packet of green beans
250 g Pnp feta

You must use all the ingredients in the above list.
You may add two fresh ingredients.
You may add any spices of your choice.
Your dish must be cooked on the stovetop. You may not use the oven.
You can use any and all ingredients from the approved Freshly Blogged Pantry List. Olive oil, Vegetable oil, Salt, Pepper, Flours (cake, whole-wheat, bread and self raising), Baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, Yeast, Butter, Milk, Eggs, Sugar (granulated, castor, icing, brown and treacle),Stock (powder or liquid – beef, chicken, fish, vegetable)

Comment on this Post

hot mexican burger

hot mexican burger

Pick n Pay freshlyblogged challenge #3

This delicious recipe was inspired by a very interesting ingredient list (see list below) I received from Pick n Pay for their #freshlyblogged competition.

hot mexican burger

The other day I visited San Julian restaurant in the heart of Cape Town. There the chef showed us how to make real tortillas using fresh white corn. Hello!! …they make them fresh every single day in the restaurant (*bow down). My mouth literally hung open when they showed us – it is so simple, so fantastically authentic and made by real Mexicans! Checking out this week’s ingredients my first thought when seeing the maize meal was to use this along with corn kernels as the base of a Mexican style burger. I added paprika, lime zest and dried chillies to the ostrich meat – it turned out to taste like spicy chorizo sausage! I was quite surprised but very happy I must add. I used the wine and hot chutney to make a basting for the burgers and to round of the dish I made a simple, lime infused guacamole. I loved all the Mexican flavours – they are so simple, so uncomplicated but burst in your mouth like in a plethora of vibrant taste sensations.

Ingredients for challenge #3
Drostdy-Hof Pinotage
500g maize meal
500g ostrich sausage
1 punnet of waterblommetjies /green beans
PnP Chutney of your choice
250g PnP mixed dried fruit

Rules for challenge #3
You may omit one ingredient (except the Drostdy-Hof Pinotage) from the above list.
You may add three spices.
You may add three fresh ingredients.
Some part of the dish must be cooked over the coals(pictorial proof of said cooking method is required).

You can use any and all ingredients from the approved Freshly Blogged Pantry List. Olive oil, Vegetable oil, Salt, Pepper, Flours (cake, wholewheat, bread and self raising), Baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, Yeast, Butter, Milk, Eggs, Sugar (granulated, castor, icing, brown and treacle),Stock (powder or liquid – beef, chicken, fish, vegetable)

SONY DSC

 

hot mexican burger
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Corn “bun”
  • 2⅔ cups (660ml) water
  • 2 mielies (corn on the cob), the corn needs to be sliced from the cob
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) salt
  • ¾ cup (180ml) maize meal
  • 1 ½ tbsp (22.5ml) butter
  • Basting
  • ½ cup (125ml) Drostdy-Hof Pinotage
  • ½ cup (125ml) PnP Hot Chutney
  • Burger patty
  • 400 g Ostrich sausage, remove the sausage meat from its casing
  • 2 tsp (10ml) paprika
  • 1 tsp (5ml) chilli flakes
  • zest of 2 limes
  • Guacamole
  • 50g green beans
  • 2 ripe avocados, crushed
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1tsp (5ml) chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp (3ml) salt
Instructions
  1. Corn bun - Bring the water, corn and salt to the boil. Add the maize meal and mix well. Turn the heat down and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. Add the butter and mix through. Taste for seasoning.
  2. Lightly oil a 20 cm x 20 cm dish with some olive oil. Scrape the porridge into the dish and flatten with spoon. Set aside to firm-up (about 45 min will do).
  3. Cut 4 circles out of the porridge to use as your bun. Set aside.
  4. When the corn patties are ready to use, heat them on the fire.
  5. Basting - Pour the wine and chutney into a small pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Guacamole - Cook the green beans for 10 min and slice thinly.
  7. Mix with avocado, lime, chilli and salt. Taste for seasoning.
  8. Ostrich burger patty - Mix the sausage meat, paprika, chilli and zest together. Making sure you mix this well. Shape to form 4 x 100g patties.
  9. Place the meat patties on the fire and braai for +-10 minutes (see tips for braaiing below). Baste with basting sauce every time you turn around.
  10. To assemble - Place the corn bun onto a plate or serving dish, add the patty and then add a dollop or two of guacamole. Sprinkle with chilli flakes and a few green beans.
  11. Tips for braaiing burgers over the coals - You need hot coals.
  12. The grid must be positioned about 10cm above the coals.
  13. Lightly oil your burger patties on both sides before you put them in the grid.
  14. Use a grid that you can turn around for the patties. It makes life much easier.
  15. Braai for a total of 4-5 mins on each side.

Comment on this Post

warm bean salad with olive oil + lemon + parsley

warm bean salad with olive oil + lemon + parsley

SONY DSC

My mom used to make this side dish for us for years back in our days in the Free State…to help stave off the winter chill and provide some good nourishment to accompany a meat dish as opposed to just the ‘vleis, rys en aartapples” (meat, rice & potatoes) staple. We were fortunate enough to have a large vegetable garden in which my brothers and I had to do our time in turning the soil and tendering to the veg patch. I remember there were always these long green beans – and delicious ones too. While in matric (Grade 12) I had to lose a kilo or two so that I could fit into my matric dance dress – I was a size 10 in those days! I lived for weeks on beans and tomatoes – just cooked up, plain and simple … and fitted in my dress! The flavours have stayed with me to this day. The big secret to this simple fare is not to overcook the beans…. They still need to have a bit of a bite.

SONY DSC

Filled with nostalgia, I made this dish once again and served it as a warm bean salad – I added some freshly ground black pepper a drizzle of the best olive oil and to complete the dish a generous squeeze of lemon juice and some twigs of parsely. The olive oil, lemon juice and parsley renders the dish into a modern veggie serving that I absolutely love. If you like, you can always eat this as a main meal with a slice or two of freshly baked bread. Just paddle the bread through some of the lovely juices….just plain delicious is what it is…unadulterated veg at its best.

Three more ideas with green beans:
Steam or boil the beans until just cooked – add some bacon and a knob of butter.
Steam or boil the beans – add salt, black pepper, a bit of garlic and a knob of butter.
Cook beans with potato and onions and flavour with salt, white pepper and a knob of butter.

SONY DSC

 

warm bean salad with olive oil + lemon + parsley
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 400g Green beans (ends and strings removed)
  • 300g Tomatoes, sliced
  • 200g Onions, sliced
  • 125 ml Water
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Freshly chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients into a pot with the water. Cook on medium heat for +- 5-10 minutes until all is soft and cooked - but not overcooked.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and give a generous squirt of olive oil. Mix the lemon juice and chopped parsley through and serve immediately as hot as you can.

Comment on this Post