PERFECTLY OVEN ROASTED POTATOES

*DRUM ROLLS*

A new oven and i decided to break it with roasting potatoes!

I love potatoes,my kids love potatoes in all forms,fried,roasted,mashed…

Here is a recipe that will make your tastebuds swoon without expanding your waist line.

I had run out of fresh garlic and i replaced it with garlic powder ,feel free to replace that with a clove or two of crushed or minced garlic.

Ingredients

1 kilo of medium sized irish potatoes,peeled,washed and quartered

2-3 tablespoons corn oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 pinches salt

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Roast potatoes are ready.....!
Roast potatoes are ready…..!

Method

1.Parboil your potatoes for 5-7 minutes,then drain

2. Pre- heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

3.Line your drained potatoes onto a roasting pan,make sure all potatoes touch the bottom of the pan.

4.Drizzle the oil on the potatoes,sprinkle the garlic powder and salt on to the potatoes and using clean hands rub the oil,garlic powder ,salt onto the potatoes.Making sure all the potatoes are coated.

5.Once your oven is ready pop your potatoes for 30 minutes,,with kitchen gloves on remove the pan from your oven and sprinkle the chopped rosemary leaves on the potatoes and pop back the pan into the oven for a further 20 minutes.

6.Serve hot with a vegetable salad or a meat dish of your choice.

BROCCOLI CRAZY GREAT DEALS…

Today i start a new segment called Broccoli Crazy great finds.

We will get to know where to buy great kitchen items like these very very cute measuring spoons i got from Nakumatt Stores in Nakuru.

Image

They are a set of 5 ,with the smallest measure being 1/4 of a teaspoon going all the way to a tablespoonful.These are especially hand when you have to measure out ingredients like yeast,baking powder/soda ,spices and other ingredients.

They come in a variety of bold colors like pink,lime green and a rather pretty shade of orange.

Check them out they cost me just kshs 145.

STORING CHAPATIS

How do your store  your chapatis,especially on those days  when you have made one too many.

I deliberately make twice as many chapatis that we can have for at least 2 meals or for breakfast/tea.

The trick to keeping them in the freezer and having them taste as fresh as when you made them is to wrap them in cling film so as to keep them fresh,then adding foil as an extra wrapping.

This works well for me on those days  when  we are late in preparing dinner ,all i have to do is come up with stew…a real time saver!!! 2013-06-24-097

Wrapping your chapatis for the freezer…

TURMERIC FLAVORED MASHED POTATOES

I love the earthy smell of turmeric and the fact that my star sign is Virgo may have something to do with it.

Virgos are said to be very health conscious and are known to have very refined palates,this may explain my obsession with preparing food well.

I love potatoes a lot and my kids seem to have taken after me,they eat potatoes in all their forms,fried,baked,roasted and they especially love mashed potatoes.

Yesterday i decided to indulge them with their favorite food but this time i would add some turmeric and it worked like a charm…they cleaned their plates.

You can read about turmeric benefits and why for me it defines Indian cuisine for me.

Hello food  delivers traditional Indian food that contains spices like turmeric ,try their amazing food and see why turmeric is such a definitive spice for this culinary style.

This recipe could be tried with baby potatoes ,just make sure you thoroughly clean them without bruising the skin and boil them as is,without peeling .

Ingredients

1 kilo of Irish potatoes,washed peeled.

1 small red onion,chopped.

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 cup frozen peas

salt and ground black pepper to taste.

METHOD

1.In a mediums sized saucepan add,1 and a half tablespoons of vegetable oil then add your chopped red onion and saute on low heat till soft.

2.Add the turmeric to the onions and stir,let cook for 2 minutes then add your  potatoes,stir the potatoes till they are coated in the oil,onions and turmeric.you get lovely looking turmeric kissed potatoes.

3.Add salt to taste and black pepper,stir ,let cook for a minute.

4.Add enough water to cover the potatoes then cover the saucepan with a lid ,bring to boil and let simmer for 15,add your frozen peas,then let boil for a further 5 minutes to cook the peas.The potatoes are ready when a fork easily passes through .

5.Remove from heat and drain the potatoes reserving a cup of the liquid.

6.Using the back of a wooden spoon mash your potatoes till smooth,then serve.

We had the mashed potatoes  with a beef stew that had blanched broccoli.

Buon appetito!

BLANCHED BROCCOLI WITH BEEF

What can i say about broccoli that i have not said already….

They are most beautiful, gorgeous vegetables in the whole wide world…

Back to cooking now..

On a recent trip to Nairobi from Nakuru,at Soko Mjnga(fools market) located just before Kimende,you get a lot of vegetables.Cucumbers,broccoli,red onion,garden peas and many others.The reason for this is the cool  and sometimes cold climate of the highland areas like Limuru and its environs  that favor the growth of such crops.

It is such a pity that these farmers for all their hard work get a pittance for such high value crops.

Be warned though,you have to put on your best negotiating demeanor with these guys as they  swarm up to your window the minute you make a stop at the market which is literally on the roadside.Be sure also to park off the road as the place is a known blackspot .

I was brought for about 2 kilos of broccoli by someone special and it has been a joy to eat as much of these vegetable as i could dream up recipes literally daily.

I even thought i should open up a restaurant that served only broccoli in al its delicious forms..

The secret to perfectly delicious broccoli or cauliflower is to blanch the vegetables before adding them to any stew.

That way the vegetables retain their color and all their nutrients.

For these stew you need the following….

Ingredients

1 and  1/2 cups blanched broccoli

5oo grammes cubed beef meat

2 medium sized red onions,sliced

3 medium sized carrots,cubed

2 tomatoes,chopped

2-3 medium sized potatoes peeled,washed and quartered

1 medium sized chopped zucchini

1 level tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper

salt to taste

water/beef broth

Broccolini in beef stew
Broccolini in beef stew

Method

1.In a saucepan add beef and a cup of water then set to simmer covered  till beef becomes tender and no water is left in the saucepan.

2.Add your oil,red onions,tomatoes and carrots,tomato paste ,potatoes,black pepper and salt then cover till the vegetables are softened and there is a thick gravy/sauce in the pan.

.Add your water beef broth enough to cover the meat and let simmer on low heat till it thickens with saucepan still covered.

4.After 10 minutes add you blanched broccoli,slices of cucumber,cover saucepan and turn off heat.

Leave covered for 5-7 minutes,stir the stew then serve.

Serving suggestion:great with turmeric rice,chapatis and any other flat bread.

VEGETABLE SAUCE PASTA DISH

Do you know what goes really well with spaghetti especially if you are not a meat lover like i am…

It is cumber,carrots,red onions and lots of tomatoes.

My son loves this dish so much he almost always scraps his plate clean.

And it is a very very cheap dish too,no exotic ingredients in this dish.

Orange,green,red and pasta!!!
Orange,green,red and pasta!!!

Ingredients

1 medium sized red onion,chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped finely/minced

1 medium sized zucchini sliced

2 carrots grated/chopped

2 tomatoes

1 teaspoon of tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons olive oil/vegetable oil for frying

 200 grammes of spaghetti

Method

1.Boil a medium sized saucepan half filled with water,then add a tablespoon of salt once its starts boiling.Don’t worry you will not taste the salt.

2.Boil till al dente about 6-7 minutes.

3.Drain the pasta but retain a cup or so of the pasta water,you will add it later to the vegetables.

4.In the same saucepan add some olive oil.vegetable oil then add your chopped red onion and sauté till tender,.

5.Add the minced garlic,sauté for 0 seconds,then add your tomatoes,carrots fry for a minute or so till softened then add your tomato paste and salt and stir.

6.Add the cucumber slices and cover for a minute to let the steam tenderize them.

7..After a minute add a few tablespoons of the pasta water,enough to cover base of sauce pan,let simmer for a minute to thicken the sauce then add your drained paster and stir then cover for 30 seconds and remove from heat.

Add a splash of olive oil and toss then serve.

Bouon  appetito!

ABSOLUTELY DELISH FISH FINGERS

This a really great recipe and will give you finger licking fish fingers that even my finickiness 3 year old loved loved loved.

The fish fingers are great as appetizers/starters or as finger food served with cocktails ,absolutely delish!

Ingredients

4oo grammes of fish fillets cut into strips

juice of  1 small lime/lemon

1/2 level teaspoon cumin seed 

2 cloves garlic,minced

4 tablespoons corn oil

dash of salt and pepper to taste

5-6 tablespoonfuls wheat flour

deep frying oil

Method

1.In a small bowl,whisk together  oil and the cumin seeds till thick then add the salt and pepper and minced garlic and whisk further.

2.In a medium sized bowl put in the sliced fish fingers and pour the marinade on top and with clean hands rub it all over the fish,cover in cling film and set in the fridge to marinade for an hour before cooking.

3.On a flat plate dd the wheat flour and coat the fish fillets with the flour to get them ready for deep frying.

4..Heat a frying pan and add oil to just about 1/3 full with deep frying oil .

5.Add the coated fish fingers to he oil,a few at a time and space them out.

You should have pan that looks like this.

2012-12-18-1103

6.Fry for about 2-3 minutes till each side is a nice golden brown then transfer to a flat plate lined with grease proof paper or the disposable kitchen towels.

7.Fry the rest of the fish fingers this way and serve hot with lemon wedges or some tartar sauce.

ROSEMARY BEEF STEW

Last week  there were some sprigs of rosemary on sale at my local supermarket ,the inspiration behind this recipe.

I had already had rosemary in my tea in oven roast potatoes but had not prepared any meat dish with this herb .

Garlic and rosemary go really well together and you can try this dish with the this mukimo recipe .

Read more about the health and side effects of rosemary .

Whenever I buy meat in bulk letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight before i portion it and always gives me tender cuts  of meat that do not have to be stewed for long .

Here goes the recipe:

 

Ingredients

400grammes  of cubed beef.

2 large tomates,cubed

2 medium sized carrots,cubed

1 large onion cubed

5 cm sprig of rosemary .

salt to taste

Sprig of rosemary in beef stew..

 

Method

1.Place a suitably sized saucepan over medium high heat and add  1 and a half tablespoonfuls of oil,then add your cubed onions,fry till the onions are softened and changed to an almost transclucent color.

2.Add your beef,let it brown then add your tomatoes and carrots ,cover and let cook for about 5-7  minutes.

3.Add  enough water to cover the meat and let simmer on low heat ,once the stew starts bubbling add a sprig of rosemary to your dish and let it simmer way for 10-15 minutes till your stew thickens and your meat is tender which may take longer for tougher cuts of meat .

4.Remove the rosemary sprig from the stew before serving

Buon appetito!

CREAMY GARLIC MUKIMO

Mukimo…how to describe it… a food ,a staple of the Eastern and Central parts of Kenya especially to the communities living around Mount Kenya,the second highest peak in Africa that stands at an elevation of 5,199 metres.In the early morning when we visited my grandma we could actually see the mountain top from her house.

Back to Mukimo…its mashed potatoes with peas,corn,beans and some vegetables thrown in for color..There are as many ways to make it as there are to make chapatis but here is mine:

After some muscle work you get this…..

Ingredients

10  medium-sized potatoes(red)

1 cup green peas

1 cup shredded pumpkin leaves

3 cloves minced garlic

1 medium-sized onion

1/4 cup fresh cream

4 tablespoons milk

salt to taste

2 tablespoons  corn oil

 1 cob shelled sweet corn(optional)

Method

1.Put your peeled and cleaned potatoes in a medium sized saucepan and add water till it covers the potatoes,cover the saucepan and bring the potatoes to boil then add your green peas.Boil till potatoes are cooked and fork easily passes through them,may take about 10-20 minutes and peas soften.

2.Drain the potatoes and peas and in the same saucepan add the corn oil,then sliced red onion, fry till so ftened then add garlic,fry for a further 30 -60 seconds then add the shredded pumpkin leaves and salt to taste and cover.Let cook for about 5-7 minutes covered  on medium low heat.

3.Add your sweet corn if using then the drained potatoes and peas and cover for a further 5 minutes.

4.Remove from heat and using a mwiko(wooden spoon used for making ugali) or a potato masher mash the potatoes  to break them for about 5 minutes.

5.Return to heat and make a well with your wooden spoon then add cream and milk,heat till it bubbles then turn off heat,and mash till its soft and creamy.

Mashed mukimo…….thats my mwiko on your top right.

It is great with any kind of beef/chicken stew or on its own with a colorful salad.

NB:Red/pink/brown skinned  potatoes are my firm favourite for mashed potatoes as they give a better consistency

 

CREAMY FRESH VEGETABLE STEW

One day I would love to have my own farm,have cows,a chicken coop,pigs the whole shebang with designer boots and sunglasses to match.

A beautiful cow with such amazing eyes…..from pinterest

I imagine myself rising up before cock-crow to make sure my cows which will all have cute names are getting milked as they listen to Mozart or Bach.I hear music calms them and makes them let down more milk…ahem..

Dreams…

For the longest time i have not seen a tub of cream on the supermarket shelf of the area i live in for some time,remember the milk crisis in Kenya ..?

Well it seems its over because all over sudden i ave seen sour cream,fresh cream even butter on the supermarket shelves and milk prices went down.

This definitely called for celebration and since i cannot pop champagne for now i bought myself fresh cream, whole 250 ml can,what can i do with it.

I made some creamy vegetable stew that we had with coconut rice and my kids loved it.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients

500 grammes chopped mixed vegetables(green peas,french beans,carrots and sweet corn)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 medium-sized grated carrots

2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes

1 level tablespoon tomato paste

a dash of black pepper and salt to taste

2 tablespoons fresh cream.

Method.

I1.n a saucepan fry the onions till soft ,add the 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic let it fry on low heat for 30 seconds then add the  grated carrots and tomatoes fry for a minute,add tomato paste let cook for a minute then add the rest of the vegetables.

2.Add salt and black pepper to taste and cover the pan and leave to cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes.

3.Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan let cook for a further 3 minutes let it simmer,then add the 2 tablespoons of cream and stir continuously till it melts into the stew and there are no lumps left then turn off heat.

Great with some savoury or coconut rice or chapati.