Quick Fix: Sweet and Savoury rice

Yet another meal made from leftover rice. I like working with leftover rice since there are a variety of dishes that one can whip up in under 30 minutes.

I had bought a whole broiler chicken some time back, I decided to fillet the breast and keep them for later. With the rice leftover, I got a brilliant idea to combine it with the chicken, something like a chicken fried rice…:-D

Ingredients:

Chicken tenders cut into strips

Leftover rice

Dried rosemary and oregano leaves

Pineapple cut into chunks

Black pepper

Salt

Oil for frying

In a skillet add in your oil, then through in the chicken strips together with the dried herbs, salt and pepper.

Keep stirring to avoid it sticking to the pan.

chicken in the pan..sizzle sizzle

No need to cook them for long, since the strips are pretty thin , ensure they are well spread out on the pan and within no time they are done.

my hands were a bit shaky. Add in the rice

The yellow colour in the rice is turmeric. I had steamed the rice with some turmeric and parsley, more flavour.

You just want the rice to get heated then add in the pineapple chunks , stir and serve.

monochromatic food ūüôā

Verdict:

First of all, hubby couldn’t believe dinner was done in under 30 minutes.

He loved it. From eating pizzas I have realised that oregano combines well with pineapple. The food was both sweet and savoury. I’ll definitely try this again.

Who knew one can prepare a complete meal without onions?

Cinnamon Pancakes

Saturday breakfast are always the best since I’m never in a rush to prepare breakfast so I get to try something elaborate.

Last Saturday was no different, I woke up in the mood for pancakes, normally i make lemon pancakes by just adding some lemon zest and juice in the batter but this time I decided to try cinnamon as the main flavour.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

3 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder

1 tbsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 eggs

 400ml of water

oil for frying

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients.

(forgot to take pics ūüė¶ )

In a jug mix all your wet ingredients. Then make a well in the bowl with dry ingredients then pour in the liquid ¬†and combine. The consistency of the batter is left to your preference. I like my pancakes fluffy so I left¬†the¬†batter to be a bit thick. Don’t worry about any lumps formed, I’ve read that they aid in¬†fluffiness..not sure about that though.

Then i transferred the batter into the measuring jug that way it will be easy to pour the batter onto the pan.

i remembered to take the pic when i was almost done hi hi hi

Heat some oil on a pan. Then add the batter

I like cooking several at a go…saves time ūüôā

Wait till bubbles have formed then flip them over for the other side to cook.

Then serve,

ready to eat

See how golden they look, perfect american pancakes.

We love¬†sprinkling¬†honey over them ūüôā

Verdict:

Best pancakes I’ve made thus far *victory dance*. They were fluffy and the taste of cinnamon was just on point.

Hubby loved them.

If I could do it over again:

Wouldn’t change a thing ūüôā

Note: When using cinnamon, always use small quantities since it has quite a strong taste and anything more than a teaspoon would be too overpowering.

Meat balls part 2

For those who missed part one you can find it here

Ingredients:

For the sauce

1 medium red onion chopped

6 cloves of garlic finely chopped

2 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger

3 medium sized tomatoes peeled and crushed

1 hoho diced

2 eggplants diced

Salt

Black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of tumeric

Oil for frying

In a saucepan fry the onions,garlic and ginger. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the crushed tomatoes. To make the crushed tomatoes, I boiled them in some water till their skins were almost peeling off. Let them cool remove the rest of the peel and then mash/crush them.

Onions and crushed tomatoes

Let the tomatoes cook for like 3 minutes then add the rest of the vegetables.

reminds me of ratatouille

Cover the pan and let the veggies cook for 5 minutes. Add in your turmeric then toss in the meatballs.

swimming meatballs ūüôā

Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes to ensure that the meat balls are fully cooked through.

Meat ball sauce

Verdict:

Very delicious, mixing the herbs in the minced meat was a great idea since with every bite of the meat balls you get some rosemary yumminess.

If I could do it over again:

I don’t think I’d change anything, the flavours combined pretty well.

Meat balls part 1

The same night I prepared the baked potatoes I decided to prepare some meat balls sauce.

Ingredients:

For the meat balls

1/4 kg minced meat

Breadcrumbs (left over from the fish fingers)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves

A handful of dhania chopped

Flour for coating

Oil for frying

minced meat,bread crumbs, dhania

 In a large bowl combine the meat, bread crumbs, dhania and seasoning(salt,rosemary,black pepper). Use your hands to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated.

the mixture

Then, still using your hands take small portions of the meat and shape them into meat balls.

I managed to make 26 meat balls

Most meatball recipes that I’ve come across also incorporate an egg which more or less acts as a glue to make sure the balls don’t fall apart. since I wasn’t planning on using any eggs, I put the meatballs in the freezer for about 20 minutes so that they can become stiff.

Once they are stiff enough remove from the freezer dust them with some flour and shallow fry them.

Drain over a paper towel covered plate.

Since we will incorporate them into the sauce they don’t need to cook through, they’ll do that while in the sauce ūüôā

Look out for part 2 for the rest of the sauce.

Fish Fingers

Sometime back during my monthly grocery shopping as I visited my vendor in search of some chicken legs, I noticed they had some fish fillet. Unfortunately they were out of chicken legs so I decided to try the fish instead. The fillets were quite large so I just got two.

One of the fillets I cut up into big chunks coated them with  some dried herbs and pan fried  them. The other one  I prepared a week later in form of fish fingers.

Ingredients:

1 large fish fillet

1/2 cup flour

4 slices of bread/ 1 cup bread crumbs

2 eggs

A handful of dhania chopped

Some lemon zest

1 tsp salt

 1 tbsp black pepper

Dried herbs, sage, rosemary and oregano

3 tablespoons of water

Oil for frying

Same trick as with the beef stir fry, thaw the fillet then cut it lengthwise into strips.

don’t make them too thin

 Now to coat the fish fingers, I prepared 3 dipping bowls.

First coat them with flour. Make sure to season the flour with some bit of salt, black pepper and the dried herbs.

1. Coating with the flour

Next dip them into the egg wash.

Making an egg wash is pretty easy beat eggs¬†with some little water. Once more remember to season the egg wash as you did the flour. This is to ensure that there’s seasoning all through.¬†Use a fork to avoid getting your hands too messed up.

2. Egg wash 

Now onto the final coat. At this point I put the oil in a pan so as it can start getting hot.

You can get ready to use breadcrumbs from your local supermarket or if you are DIY kind of person you can just do what I did.

I toasted 4 slices of bread with a sandwich maker, yep a sandwich maker, I really need to invest in a toaster.

Voila, crusty

Then using my blender’s mill, I crushed the chunks of toasted bread and voila breadcrumbs pap. In a bowl/plate mix the chopped dhania and the breadcrumbs, again remember to add the dried herbs, salt and black pepper. At this point also add in the lemon zest.

3. The breadcrumbs mixture

Then fry your fingers (no pun intended :-))

I later filled the pan with the fish fingers

Fry both sides till they are golden in colour. Drain over a plate covered with some paper towel.

I served this with plain steamed rice and a vegetable sauce.

steamed rice and vegetable sauce

Verdict:

Hubby loved them. Seasoning was on point. Yippee

If I could do it over again:

I’d let them cook longer, they still had that fishy taste that I don’t really like.

 I re-fried the the leftover the following night and they were much better and crunchier :-), so cook them a bit longer till they are really golden brown.

Did someone say Chinese?

I’ve never been to a Chinese restaurant (hubby, hint ,hint) but I know they are big on rice, Egg fried rice to be specific. this is something I like preparing when I have leftover rice. It’s normally a pleasant way to eat it other than just warming it up.

Let me first warn you that this recipe is my own creation meaning it could well not be Chinese rice :-). According to me what makes it Chinese is the soy sauce and eggs, which I think  are a staple in the Chinese rice.

What you’ll need:

2 cups of steamed rice (preferably cold)

3 sausages

2 eggs

1/2 white onion chopped

5 cloves of garlic chopped

1 teaspoon of ginger chopped

3 small carrots diced

1 hoho (bell pepper) cut into strips

1 eggplant (aubergine) cubed

Salt

Black pepper

Dried herbs

3 drops of soy sauce

Oil for frying

rice,soy sauce,carrots, eggplant,hoho,onions,ginger and garlic

This dish is best prepared with a wok and in the case you don’t have one like me, you can use a pan.

First the sausages, I removed them from their casing then I broke down the sausage meat.

Heat some oil in the pan, then add in the sausages.

The sausage meat

Let them cook for about 5 minutes then set aside.

In the same pan using the add some little oil.

Scramble the two eggs.

Scrambled eggs

Then set aside.

Now for the complete dish.

In the same part toss in your onions,garlic and ginger. Remember to season with salt and black pepper.

Onions frying

Let the onions cook till golden then add in the veggies (carrots,hoho and eggplant).

Colour!!

Keep stirring the mixtures to avoid them sticking onto the pan. Once they are tender but carrots still crunchy add in the sausages and scrambled eggs.

add the sausages and eggs

Stir the mixture, then add the rice . Drizzle with soy sauce and add the dried herbs, I used sage (still out of parsley) O-o.

In goes the rice

Since the rice is already cooked you just want it to get hot.

Dinner is served. Bon Appetit!

In the event you are allergic or don’t like eggs you ¬†can eliminate them from the recipe. You can easily make it vegetarian by eliminating both the eggs and sausages.

What do you do with your leftover food?

Verdict:

The veggies added the crunch in the rice and the alternating tastes of sausages and eggs was very pleasing.

If I could do it over again:

Probably add more seasoning, especially the black pepper

Herbalicious Potatoes

Potatoes, roasted, fried or baked , who doesn’t love them?

This past weekend I¬†debated¬†whether to prepare chapatis or potatoes. Well potatoes won, and that is because hubby wasn’t around to influence the voting otherwise chapatis would have won pants down hi hi hi.

Since, we love potatoes that much, I try to prepare them in the most healthy way possible, so I normally bake them.

Ingredients:

Lots of patatoes peeled and washed

Dried herbs: sage, rosemary, thyme or whatever you have on hand

Salt

Black pepper

4 teaspoons of oil

When baking potatoes, I prefer boiling them first so as to give them a head start when it gets to baking.

Cut the potatoes into wedges like so;

the wedges look more like chips, but they are wedged

Place the potatoes in a sufuria, add water upto the level of the potatoes. Season generously with salt, black pepper and some of the dried herbs.

Let the water come to a boil or till the potatoes are almost done.

Drain the potatoes.

Remember to  pre-heat your oven at 350 degrees C

Take your oven tray, line it with some aluminium foil, this is to prevent sticking onto the baking tray and also makes clean even faster.

Grease the foiled tray with the oil the sprinkle some of the herbs. Place the potatoes in the foiled tray. Ensure they are on a single layer then sprinkle the remaining herbs and pop it into the oven.

in the oven

I let my potatoes bake, till the outside was golden and all crispy.

The herbalicious baked potatoes

                 Note:

Currently I’m out of¬†parsley and hence the use of other herbs, but on normal occasions I’d prepare this with parsley¬†instead of sage.

Verdict:

Delicious, the potatoes were not only crispy but full of herb goodness. They have to be the best baked potatoes I’ve made thus far “yippee” .

If I could it do over again:

Increase the quantity of the potatoes ūüėÄ . We just couldn’t get enough of them.

Egg Sandwich

 This Saturday was a bit different, I woke up a bit late and I had no clue of what to prepare for hubby as he was going to work. Luckily, I had some bread, eggs and dhania so I decided to make a simple egg sandwich.

Ingredients:

6 slices of bread

Margarine/ Butter

3 hard boiled eggs

A handful of fresh coriander/ dhania leaves

Black pepper

Salt

Some dried herbs

The only time consuming part of this recipe is the boiling of the eggs.

Place the eggs in a sufuria with water and bring the water and eggs to a boil. I don’t have a measure of knowing if they are fully done, I just give them 15 minutes to boil.

Since, we are yet to acquire a toaster, I toasted the bread the ‘kienyeji’ way.

boring looking bread

Apply margarine or butter on the bread then place it in a pan, butter side down. Wait for around 2-3 minutes and voila, your bread will be toasted and all crusty. Repeat this for all the slices, just toasting one side, or you can do both for more crunchiness, I just did one side.

Set the bread aside:

The charred parts are the most crunchy

At this point the eggs are done, drain over running water, let them cool then remove the shells.

The hard boiled eggs and dhania

Chop the eggs and put in a bowl and add the chopped dhania. In case you have fresh parsley you substitute the dhania with it.

Yummy

Season with salt, black pepper and dried herbs, I used sage though parsely would be more preferable.

Then assemble the sandwich.

Take two slices of the toasted bread fill the insides with the egg and dhania mixture and voila breakfast is served.

Doesn’t it look yummy?

Verdict:

It was a hit :-). Hubby loved it, mentioning that he didn’t know hard boiled eggs could be served like that #WIN.

If I could do it over again.

I’m not sure I’d change anything I loved the taste and the simplicity of the sandwich and it was quite filling. Perhaps, subtitute the dhania with parsley and try adding some more ingredients perhaps some fried onions.

What do you think?

Beef Stir Fry with Matoke

The same day I made matoke I decided to make some beef stir fry to serve as an accompaniment.

Ingredients:

1/4 kg beef cut into strips

4 carrots cut lengthwise into thin strips

1 bell pepper cut lengthwise

1 onion sliced

Salt

Black pepper

¬Ĺ teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves

2 teaspoons of vegetable oil for frying

The trick in getting the perfect strips with the beef is to cut it while it’s still a bit cold. I had removed my meat like 20 minutes prior and I’d left it to thaw slowly on the kitchen table.

the beef strips

Heat the oil in a pan then toss in your onions, then add your salt and black pepper.

I normally don’t fry beef, since I find it to be pretty fatty by itself but since I was stir frying, I thought why not.

 Once the onions are tender, throw in the strips of beef and stir (yep stir fry) to mix it with the onion yumminess.

on to the pan

Let the strips cook for about 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes to avoid them sticking onto the pan.The beef cooks even faster than normal since

the strips are thin.

Once it’s almost done add the remaining ingredients not forgetting the dried rosemary leaves. Stir once more then let them cook for about 5

minutes. I like when my carrots are crunchy but in case you like them tender you can cook for longer.

don’t you just love it when the food has such rich colours, yum yum

And just like that you have a scrumptious meal

Delicious!!

Verdict:

I’m known to go a bit crazy when it comes to spicing the food and fortunately or unfortunately the black pepper was a bit too much in the matoke. Still loved it though. Hubby had been hesitant to eat the matoke, so he served a small portion at first (test run I guess).

He later heaped his plate (happy wife).

 The carrots were crunchy and the beef was full rosemary and black pepper goodness :-).

If I could do it over again:

 Reduce the amount of salt in the beef (told you, I go a bit crazy when seasoning is involved) O-o.

How do you cook your bananas?

From Mother in Law with Love

Some Saturdays ago we had dinner over at my other family. We usually have a great time and never leave till it’s like pretty late.

As is my mother in law’s tradition, she gave us some goodies to carry with us once we were about to head for home. This time round she gave us some unripe bananas. I saw it as a challenge since I don’t think I’d have ever thought of cooking matoke.

As I was thinking of how I’d prepare them then ‘eureka’ I remembered that my mother had prepared matoke occasionally and I think I could remember just how she used to do it.

The ingredients

Ingredients:

A bunch of unripe bananas, around 8

Potatoes let’s say 10

A handful of carrots wedged

1 onion sliced

I whole garlic chopped

2 teaspoons of chopped ginger

1/2 bell pepper sliced lengthwise

400ml of water or stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)

Salt

Black pepper

2 tablespoons of cooking oil

First things first, peeling the bananas and potatoes. I recall that unripe bananas has some stuff which I only know their name in my mother tongue:-) that sticks on ones hands. I used to see my mum apply some cooking oil on her hands so as not to get the ‘whatchamacallit’ on her hands I faithfully did like her and peeled the bananas without a hitch ‚Äúyippee‚ÄĚ. Once everything is peeled and washed set aside and start on frying the onions.

The fried onions,garlic, ginger mixed with the salt and black pepper

Then add the carrots and bell pepper

The colours look yummy, don’t they?

I didn’t put tomatoes in this recipe since I wasn’t quite sure if they were necessary, are they?

Then add the bananas and potatoes and stir till everything is combined and cover for about 5 minutes to let the spices soak in.

You can see the black pepper on the bananas and potatoes

Then finally add in your water or stock (beef, chicken or vegetable), I used water. As for the amount, I normally measure with my eyes and I remembered that my mother used to put the water almost till the level of the bananas. Cover and let them cook over medium to low heat for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are done.

Check the water level

You’ll wait to see the end result on my next post.

Curious Question:

Does anyone else experience the sticky stuff when peeling unripe bananas?