Monday, February 28, 2011

Coconut Vegetable Curry

Here is a quick and easy Vegetable curry recipe for meat free Monday's, the vegetables can be replaced or interchanged with all your favorites as well as the beans may be replaced with chickpeas or lentils.

This recipe is wheat, meat and dairy free.

Coconut Vegetable Curry
Serves 4

800g - 1 kg Butternut, cut into cubes
20 ml olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
10ml fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 mild chilli seeded and chopped
8ml hot curry powder
4ml ground cumin
4ml ground coriander
1ml cinnamon
4ml garam masala
3 baby marrow, sliced
250g broccoli florets
1 tin 400g butter beans
1 tin 400ml coconut milk
15ml cornflour
35ml chutney
salt and pepper
Fresh Coriander

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C .
Roast the cubed butternut with olive oil and seasoning for 30 minutes.
Mix the curry powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and garam masala.
Fry the onion, ginger and garlic until softened.
Add the roasted butternut and baby marrow and fry for 5 minutes.
Add the spices and fry for 1 minute.
Add the coconut milk which has been mixed with the cornflour and add the broccoli.
Add the butter beans, place the lid on and allow to cook gently for 15 minutes.
Add chutney, fresh coriander and season to taste.
Serve with basmati rice and tomato sambal.

Recipe and Photo Copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Asian Pear Tarte Tatin

Strolling around my local Pick 'n Pay yesterday I came across these Asian Pears which looked so crisp and juicy I had to get some to try!

This fruit also known as Apple Pear is exactly as the name suggests, it looks similar to an apple and has the same crunchy texture but has the distinct flavour of a pear. An Asian Pear does not need to go through a ripening process but is picked and immediately ready to eat. It is not generally used in baking as it loses its snappy, cool texture. This fruit is very well suited to a summer salad and will be great in an American or Asian Style slaw however I needed to make something to cure my sweet tooth and this is what I made.

Asian Pear Tarte Tatin

Makes 4 small

1 Asian Pear

200g granulated sugar

20g butter

4 by 5cm squares of puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C, spray and cook a muffin / Yorkshire Pudding tin.

Peel the pear and cut into quarters, cut the seeds away and using a small knife, shape the quarter into a rough round shape. Do this to all four pieces.

Pour the sugar into a clean pan, on the highest temperature melt the sugar twisting the pan occasionally ( don't stir) until melted and golden.

Add the butter and swivel the pan until melted and combined with the sugar.

Pour into 4 holes of the muffin tin. Place the Asian Pear rounds on on top of the sugar and pour a little extra over each pear.

Place the squares of puff pastry over the pear and tuck in the edges.

Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Picture and recipe Copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Seared Canadian Salmon with sauce vierge

I love salmon, its my favorite fish as long as its raw or seared otherwise it gets too dry. It is high in protein and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. This fish is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids which is great for your heart, memory, skin and hair, it even protects you from sunburn.

This is a favorite summer dish which can be served as the main course at a dinner party or without the potato for a light lunch.

I used Pesto Princess's red pesto to flavour the potato which to all of us who went to the Blogger Indaba last week received in our abundant goodie bags

This recipe is wheat and dairy free.

Seared Canadian Salmon, Red Pesto Crushed Potato and Zucchini Spaghetti

Serves 2

Red Pesto Crushed Potato

10 Baby potatoes, peeled

50ml extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1 tbsp Pesto princess red pesto ( you may use basil pesto, sundried tomato pesto or a red pepper pesto)

10ml lemon juice

Boil the baby potatoes until tender and cooked through.

Pour in the extra virgin olive oil, pesto, lemon juice and season.

Using a fork, crush the potatoes until roughly broken up, check seasoning and keep warm in the pot.

Zucchini Spaghetti

4 Zucchini / baby marrow

½ clove garlic

15ml Olive oil

salt and pepper

Julienne the zucchini (cut into long thin strips)

Heat the pan with the oil. Add the whole piece of garlic to the oil and cook until golden.

Remove the garlic from the pan and stir fry the zucchini.


Sauce Vierge

1 Large tomato

1 very mild chilli

20ml extra virgin olive oil

juice of ¼ lemon

salt and pepper

Blanch, peel and cut the tomato into small dice. Cut the chilli in half and remove the pips, cut it into thin julienne strips.

Mix all ingredients together, season and allow to stand for flavours to develop.


2 portions (180 – 200g ea) Canadian Salmon / Norwegian Salmon / Alaskan

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

Juice of ¼ lemon

Watercress to garnish

Heat the oil in a pan. Season the fish and sear for 1 – 2 minutes per side depending on thickness.

Place a mound of crushed potatoes on the plate. Top this with the spaghetti and finally the Salmon. Dress the dish with the sauce vierge and garnish with watercress and a lemon wedge.


This dish is great for dinner or remove the potato and replace with loads of watercress for a light lunch.

Picture and recipe Copyright by Tamsyn Wells.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Masala Dosa

I went out for Indian Food recently and although our meal was divine, it was really rich, heavy and took days to digest. Later that week a friend asked us to meet him for dinner at yet another Indian Restaurant, I must confess I was still digesting the heavy meal from a few days earlier and was dreading yet another spicy, sluggish week ahead. Upon entering Masala Dosa my mind changed completely and I was eager to try it out.

Masala Dosa is a refreshing white, crisp, light and fresh looking restaurant with a few ornaments and decor giving it a youthful Indian vibe.

Masala Dosa is named after a dish on it's menu. A Dosa is a crispy rice and lentil pancake from South India normally eaten for breakfast. I decided to have this dish which comes with a chicken and butternut curry, Lamb Curry or a Vegetarian Potato and Chickpea version which is actually the traditional filling. It is accompanied by a chutney of your choice and a lentil soup or broth called a Sambar.

I chose the chicken curry with coriander chutney which was absolutely heavenly. It is eaten by tearing off pieces of the pancake, filling it with the curry which is light and full of flavour, topping it with the chutney, dipping it in the soup and then filling your mouth with all those textures and flavours. My meal was so addictive that when the attentive Owner / waiter offered us a Crispy Dosa for dessert filled with gooey chocolate accompanied by a sweetened coconut chutney, we definitely could not resist, this too was just the perfect ending to our meal where I am normally disappointed by desserts in restaurants.

The menu is very suitable for wheat and dairy intolerant people as the Dosa uses no wheat flour, they are fat free and loaded with protein, the curries are also made lighter by using less garlic and dairy.

Our meal came to R150 per person, we shared a starter called Aloo Tikki which are Spiced Potato dumplings with a tomato chutney, our main course was Dosa's, we shared a chocolate Dosa for dessert, a bottle of water and a bottle of wine with the bill coming to R450 for 3 including a tip. I will definitely go back soon!

167 Long Street
Cape Town

021 424-6772

Review Copyright by Tamsyn Wells.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Woodlands Eatery

I Finally went to Woodlands Eatery in Deer Park, Vredehoek last night and what a beautifully decorated, welcoming addition to the area.
Woodlands Eatery is a Bistro offering new flavour combinations and Seasonal Produce. The Prices of the meals on the menu are so affordable at nothing over R100, mostly falling between R50 - R80. On the menu you will find a few salads, one was Gooseberry and Goats cheese , there was a mussel soup and a pizza that I can remember on the starters. For Mains there were about 6 different pizza's, Sirloins steak with Bearnaise, Sole with baby potatoes and a couple of other options.
The menu is not big but changes once a week. The only complaint I had was that there was no sirloin or Sole left that evening so the already small menu did not leave us with much options but I am glad as it forced me to try the Grilled calamari and prawns on Naan bread with loads of avocado, topped with a cherry tomato and nectarine salsa, it was so alive with colour, served on a big wooden board, a light fresh taste with a zingy flavour from the nectarine salsa and lime juice. The other people at the table had the Parma ham, goats cheese and nectarine pizza which was thin with bright fresh colours and a light fresh taste also great especially on a scorching Cape Town evening.
We sipped on a Chenin Blanc and some Darling Beer which has an amazing Desserty sweet Fragrance in your nose with every sip.
The service was friendly and welcoming and the vibe from the guests was happy and cheerful. The ambience is made warmer by the festive fairy lights against the wall and the lovely decor.
The total bill for 4 people with 1 bottle of wine plus another 2 glasses, 4 beers, a bottle of sparkling water , 4 Jagermeisters and 4 main courses came to R750 with the tip.
I will definately go back to Woodlands again.

2 Deer Park Drive
Cape Town, Western Cape
021 801 5799

Review Copyright by Tamsyn Wells.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Linefish Of The Day

This can be made with your favorite fish, its on a bed of saute' potatoes with caramelised onions, Tempura Vegetables, Lemon Beurre blanc and Avocado salsa.

Beurre Blanc
1 c white wine
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T shallots
4 T heavy whipping cream
¼ lb butter – unsalted, chilled, cut into cubes
2 T lemon Juice
1/8 t salt
1/8 t white pepper
How to make it
In a saucepan combine wine, vinegar and shallots.
Reduce until syrupy.
Add cream and reduce by half.
Remove from heat and slowly whisk in butter.
Season and add lemon juice to taste
Tempura Batter
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup corn flour
1/2 cup icy cold water
1 tablespoon of sake, Japanese rice wine
Make the batter right before you plan to fry the vegetables.
Beat the egg and add the cold water, beating until the mixture is light.
Add the sake.
Mix the flour and the corn flour together.
Sift the flours into the egg mixture.
Stir it all together but do not over mix.
Dip vegetables or shrimp into the batter. Shake off any excess.
With a long pair of wooden chopsticks, add several pieces at a time to the hot oil.
Fry 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the pieces once as they fry.
Drain on paper towels.
Lyonnaise Potatoes (Saute' Potatoes)
900 g potatoes
2 tbsp/ 25 g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
Caramelised onions
1. Boil the potatoes in their skins for 15 minutes. Peel and cut into even slices.
2. Heat the butter and oil in a deep frying pan and when hot, add the sliced potatoes.
3. Season with a little salt and cook until golden brown on both sides, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking. Season to taste.
4. Turn into a serving dish, toss with caramelized onions and garnish with chopped parsley.
Assemble the dish by sealing off the fish and finishing off in the oven, serving it on top of the sauté potatoes, cut your favorite veggies and tempura them and finally make a guacamole salsa topped with salmon roe. Dress this with your beurre blanc sauce.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Quick and easy Chicken paella

This is the quickest, easiest Dinner to make apart from a Pasta on a night when there is no time to cook but you still want something hearty and healthy to eat.
The Chicken and Chorizo can be replaced with Prawns, beef, mussels, Norwegian Salmon cubes and I also love it made with Beef Mince.

Chicken and Vegetable Paella
Serves 4

1 Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic ,finely chopped
100g Chorizo sausage
3 medium baby marrow, sliced
2 young carrots, grated
100g broccoli roughly chopped
300ml Basmati rice
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 pk deboned chicken thighs, no skin cut into cubes
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Fry the onion and garlic, add the Chorizo and baby marrow.
Add the whole peeled tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, balsamic and Worcestershire sauce. Add the carrot and about 200ml boiling water.
Allow to cook for 15 minutes.
Season the chicken cubes and and seal off in a saucepan and set aside.
Rinse the rice.
Add the rice to the tomato sauce , after 10 minutes add the chicken and broccoli.
Cook for a further 10 minutes, season and allow to stand for 5 Minutes.
Drizzle with olive oil and grated Parmesan.

Picture and Recipe Copyright by Tamsyn Wells.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nougat Filled Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I am not really that into sweet treats, If I am offered sweet or salty 9 times out of 10 I will choose Salty but Cupcakes are a weakness of mine, because of this I don't make them very often as I would eat just about the whole batch.
I always laugh when I make a new flavour as when I was younger , staying at home I would test them out on my brothers and they would always say "they are good but they could possibly be a bit better if you added this or that " this would cleverly send me back to the kitchen to make yet another batch and of course the brothers had an endless supply while I was striving for "perfection".
I love peanut butter for its sweet, salty stickiness and so I made these cupcakes and cut up peanut butter, nougat chocolates to put in the centre.

Nougat Filled Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Makes 12 small or 9 Big cupcakes

215ml Cake flour
6ml Baking Powder
2ml Salt
1ml Bicarbonate of Soda
100g Softened Butter
150ml Castor Sugar
80ml Smooth Peanut Butter
2 eggs
60 ml Milk
5ml White Vinegar
5ml Vanilla essence
1 Bar Peanut butter nougat chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Line a tray with cupcake cups.
Cream the butter and sugar, I used a magimix.
Add eggs one at a time.
Mix the Milk, vinegar and vanilla.
Mix the dry ingredients and add to the mixture alternately with the milk.
Place a spoonful in each cup, add a block of the chocolate and top with another spoon of mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool.

Peanut Butter Frosting
180g Butter
1.5 - 2 cups icing sugar
60ml Peanut Butter
Pinch of salt
Dash of milk
Strawberry Jam

In a magimix, soften the butter, add the icing sugar, peanut butter, salt and milk.
Blend until smooth.
Ice the cool cupcakes with a thick layer of icing, make a dent in the centre and place a dollop of Strawberry jam in the centre and decorate with cupcake decorations or fresh strawberries.

Picture and Recipe Copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

Being a chef you would think I don't cook when I get home but I always feel like something nourishing and tasty, maybe this is from when I used to live at home, I would come home to my Mom's leftover dinners and tuck in after my shift which could be around 11pm.
It seems lately my dinners have been inspired by the Television. It all started when my boyfriend watched Jamie Oliver making Gnocchi and then decided to make some himself which turned out really great, they were soft and melt in the mouth.
Recently I watched Gary Rhodes making Chicken Cacciatore in Italy and have been wanting to make my own version ever since.
We both served it with Polenta however not being much of a cream and rich cheese eater, I made mine with stock and very little Parmesan and replaced the load of butter with a big glug of Extra Virgin Olive oil, I also add vegetables to the Cacciatore which is not traditional but I like it.

Chicken Cacciatore

Serves 4

1 tin 410g whole peeled tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1 carrot grated
fresh basil
20g Calamata olives pipped
worcestershire sauce
10ml balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

1 pk chicken pieces 1.2kg (I used the Skinless drumstick and thigh pack)
4 medium baby marrow, sliced
1/2 pk button mushrooms

1 cup instant polenta
4 cups water
1 tsp Ina Parman chicken stock powder
50 g parmesan grated
80ml extra virgin olive oil

Sauce:Make the sauce by frying the garlic, add the tin of tomatoes and mash with a potato masher until chunky.
Add the carrot and seasonings and allow to cook for 30 minutes, season.

Chicken:Fry the seasoned chicken pieces until golden brown and pour in a casserole dish.
Place the baby marrow and mushrooms on top and when the sauce is ready, pour it over, close the lid and bake for 1 - 1.5 hours . Thicken the sauce with cornflour if necessary.

Polenta: Bring the water, stock and salt to the boil, pour the polenta in while whisking, allow to cook for 10 minutes.
Add olive oil, parmesan and check seasoning.
Pour into an oiled dish and allow to set.

Cut the polenta into squares and serve topped with the rich chicken and sauce.

Picture and Recipe Copyright by Tamsyn Wells.