Cottage Pie

Cottage pie needs no introduction. I made it for supper the other night. I normally throw in spaghetti with mince, but I’m cutting down on carbs – yes I know I used potatoes – but a double dosage would have been too much.

cottage_pie

I usually cook my mince with chilli powder, dhania & jeera powder and garam masala, along with ginger garlic, chilli and salt. After topping it with mash, I baked it for about 15 mins. The dish I used had a large base so the mince layer looks, err, thin.

Tandoori Chicken

When it comes to Indian cooking / cooking with spices, I rarely (ok, up until this weekend, never) buy premixed spices. I always add my own quantities of each spice to whatever I’m making. I learnt from my mom and she would also cook this way, meaning she wont use a briyani mix that you get sold at stores.

Over the weekend I was at a spice shop and saw a packet of tandoori chicken spice – all you had to do was add yoghurt and marinate, before grilling. I decided to give it a go – test it out and see if its worth buying. If you work full time and rely on convenience cooking, it would be ideal.

As per instructions on the the packet, added yoghurt to the spices and marinated drumsticks and thighs for a few hours in the fridge. I then baked / grilled it for about 25-30 minutes on 200°C.

This is what it looked like: (I expected it to come out slightly more red).

tandoori_chicken
I served it with rice and salad. You can also serve it with raita.

The verdict: I liked it, so did my husband. It was spicy and hot.
He said: Will definitely eat it again.
Perfect for: Lazy weekends – not much effort involved or weekdays if marinated in the morning.
Alternate serving options: Naan or rolls.

Homemade Pizza

This was a very lazy supper on Sunday, so I decided to make something light. A pizza sounded like the best option and throwing whatever I had in the fridge as a topping worked out quite nicely.

homemade_pizza
For the base:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2t baking powder
  • 4T oil
  • half cup milk and half cup water – mix with 4T oil
  • salt

Make the base, roll it out and throw on whatever you feel like. Thats the best part about homemade pizza. I had some Doritos salsa from my quesadillas, which I smeared on the base. Added peri peri chicken polony (which I dont usually buy in a hurry), some sliced peppadews and feta topped with gouda. Sprinkled some thyme (I love this herb).

Baked on 180°C for 12-15 minutes.

I used half of the base recipe given.

Chicken a la King

This is very old recipe of mine – I learnt how to make it in high school. It was taught to me by my home economics teacher – you generally get taught flop proof recipes, so I can assure you, its not difficult and chances are, it wont flop.

I stopped making Chicken a la King for a while because I couldn’t get halaal chicken stock – but I previously made it with vegetable stock but the taste was so different. By chance yesterday, I asked Woolworths if they keep chicken stock and I was thrilled to see it was halaal. Why didnt I ask them sooner?!

I prepared it in my wok, instead of a frying pan. I decided to take pics of each step, so you can see how it should look as you’re going along.

What you need:

  • 250g chicken (cooked, coarsely chopped – I prepared 3 fillets with chilli powder & dhania / jeera powder)
  • 60g mushrooms
  • ½ green pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 30ml margarine
  • ½T flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 140ml chicken stock
  • 75ml milk
  • 75ml single cream
  • salt
  • pepper

What you do:

  1. Melt margarine, sauté pepper for about 5 minutes
  2. Add mushrooms, sauté until tender
  3. Remove pan from stove, blend in flour, gradually add stock and then milk
  4. Return pan to stove, bring mixture to a boil, continuos stirring – until thickens
  5. Add salt, pepper and chicken – heat for about 5 minutes
  6. Beat cream and egg yolk lightly in a bowl, stir some hot sauce into it (optional), then add the mixture to the pan and heat – don’t boil.
  7. Serve immediately with boiled rice. I added the rice to the work and mixed it all together.

My only regret was not making more.