Creamy Mashed Potatoes

My friend Dee told me of mouth watering mashed potatoes that she had at Cafe Brasserie at the Village Market. Her exact words were that with every spoonful the mashed potatoes melt in your mouth. I’m yet to visit the place to second her sentiments so for now I’ll stick to perfecting my own recipe.

When it comes to mashed potatoes, I’m never in the search of perfection but after my convo with Dee I got inspired to put more effort in my cooking and it definitely paid off.

Ingredients:

Potatoes, peeled, washed and cubed

3 bay leaves

Cold Water

Margarine/ Butter – I used margarine

Milk

Salt and pepper to taste

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I chose to cube the potatoes so they cook faster, more evenly and make the mashing process a bit easier. The other trick when making mashed potatoes is using cold water so that as the water warms the potatoes are also cooking.

In a sufuria add the potatoes, water and the bay leaves. Season with the salt and pepper.

The amount of water should almost be at the same level as the potatoes. Cover and let the potatoes cook until they flake easily when pierced with a fork.

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Once cooked, remove the bay leaves and drain the water.

Done
Done

Mash your heart out, well not your heart but the potatoes.

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Now to the exciting part. To make the potatoes fluffy and creamy is adding milk and butter/ margarine and mashing them in. The quantity of both is not standard as it would depend on how you want them. The main idea is to ensure the milk is warm and so is the butter that way the potatoes aren’t shocked if they were cold, make sense?

Ensure to add the milk in very small portions of about a tablespoon, the idea is get creamy mashed potatoes not potato soup πŸ™‚

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After achieving the desired result taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

creamy?
creamy?

Serve immediately with some beef stew and veggies.

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Verdict:

Creamy? check

Fluffy? check

Melting moments? Almost there.

Variations: To add some oomph into the mashed potatoes you can add some sliced spring onions or some bacon. You can even grate over some cheese πŸ™‚

Fried Chicken Strips

Easy as … fried chicken strips πŸ™‚

At times I’m never too sure of what to cook so I normally settle on the star of the meal then I just go with the flow and during those moments I end up ‘creating’ my own recipes. This being one of them. The first time I made this I didn’t have any intention of posting on the blog but after positive reviews of photos I had posted on my facebook, I decided to make it again.

The simplicity of this recipe is in the minimal ingredients needed. I know some of you may wonder how one doesn’t cook with onions, but it happens and it’s something I do often. Anyway, let’s get to cooking πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

2 boneless chicken breasts cut in strips

1 large red bell pepper sliced lengthwise then in half

Dried oregano leaves

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

The chicken strips are cut easily when the chicken is between frozen and thawed.

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red!
red!

In a shallow pan or skillet heat the oil. Then throw in the chicken strips.

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Excuse the pan, it’s quite old, one of hubby’s when he was still a bachelor πŸ™‚

Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and some black pepper.

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Then add the bell peppers and sprinkle over the oregano about a tablespoon will do.

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Let the peppers cook down, as they cook the chicken will also brown up a bit.

Serve and enjoy.

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in living colour :-)
in living colour πŸ™‚

One word: Scrumptious!

Coconut Butter Beans Curry

A simple and quick meal. After hearing that one can put coconut milk in beans , I decided to try it out.

Result: Delicious.

Ingredients:

2 cups boiled butter beans

3 sprigs spring onions, sliced

2 tomatoes wedged/sliced

3 medium sized carrots, peeled and cubed

1 cup coconut milk

Handful of coriander chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

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Heat the oil in sufuria then fry the onions.

tomatoes
tomatoes

Once the onions are cooked, add the tomatoes. Cover and let them cook down. Season with some salt and pepper.

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Once cooked, add in the carrots and stir.

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Let them cook for a few minutes. If you prefer them still crunchy you can just go ahead and add the beans.

rich colour
rich colour

Tip: For coconut milk, I normally buy the coconut cream powder then mix it with hot water. You can either do that or use coconut milk.

coconut milk
“coconut milk”

Finally the butter beans. Stir them in then pour in the coconut milk.

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Cover and bring it to a boil.

And now, to finish up. Add the coriander and stir.

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I served this with some chapatis.

Yum
Yum

You can add coconut milk to just about any kind of beans or legumes. Try it with green grams (ndegu) also.

Enjoy!

Brown Cinnamon Chapatis

I try to cook chapatis often mainly because hubby loves them. When it comes to chapatis, I’m never a fan of brown ones, I always find the taste a bit off. That changed when my friend Yvie invited us for lunch and she’d made them. Needless to say, hubby and I ate those chapatis like crazy. They were utterly delicious and I couldn’t stop thinking of them πŸ™‚ I had to try them at home. After consulting with Yvie, she mentioned that she used the atta mark flour.

The recipe is closely related to my cinnamon chapati recipe except for the use of atta mark flour and milk which was an ingredient I used after another pal Nzilani recommended.

Ingredients:

2 cups atta mark flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup warm milk / water

This yielded 10 medium sized chapatis

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Start by mixing all the dry ingredients.

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Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk and the vegetable oil.

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Using a wooden spoon or your hands mix the dough. The dough will be a bit sticky to begin with, don’t worry it’s part of the process.

dry ingredients all incorporated
dry ingredients all incorporated

At this point, I switched to using my hands. Using some little flour, knead the dough for about 7 minutes. The stickiness should reduce and the dough becomes softer. Afterwards, roll into a huge ball and put in a lightly oil bowl then cover the bowl with a damp tea towel. Alternatively, you can lightly oil the dough then cover it with cling film.

All kneaded
All kneaded

Let the dough rest for at least 15 minutes. This part is vital.

15 minutes or so later…

Get to making the chapatis. To see the step by step process before the actual cooking refer to this.

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Cook away πŸ™‚

Enjoy
Enjoy

Serve with your favourite curry.

I served them with some coconut butter beans curry which I’ll post soon πŸ™‚

Verdict:

Delicious. Hubby enjoyed them πŸ™‚

Oregano and Red Bell Pepper Eggs

Eggs must be some of those things that are a staple in the leo tunapika kitchen. seeing that I love baking and making pancakes I am always using eggs. Most of the times, I can finish a whole tray even without having fried or boiled one, imagine. When I remember I to fry them up. This is a simple recipe which can work as an omelette but since my eggs turning skills are still very dismal, I always end up scrambling mine πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

1 medium sized red bell pepper, diced

2 eggs

1 tbsp dried oregano leaves

1 tsp dried parsley leaves

Salt to taste

1 tbsp vegetable oil

the cast
the cast

Start by heating your pan preferably a non stick. Then add the vegetable oil.

Once the oil is heated, add the bell pepper pieces and let them cook down.

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Add the salt, dried oregano and dried parsley.

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In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs.

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Now pour in the eggs into the pan.

yum
yum
yummy
yummy

Let the eggs cook and if you are a macho egg turner, go for it. As for me, I scrambled the eggs πŸ™‚

scrambling
scrambling

 

Enjoy

Done!
Done!

 

Verdict:

These have to be the most delicious fried eggs I’ve ever tasted. The flavour of the bell pepper and oregano was spot on. Allow me to say this Foodgasm!

 

Fluffy Banana Pancakes

Hey foodies, I’ve missed you. I know, I’ve been gone for long but great thing is I’m back and with new recipes to boot.

I have been meaning to share this recipe for a while now but I kept on postponing. I have made banana pancakes before but I used to blend the ingredients together to ensure the bananas were completely mashed. This one time, I was in a rush so I decided to just roughly mash the bananas and the result was genius. I had guests over and would you imagine they finished the pancakes even before the chocolate cake was over.

The cast of characters
The cast of characters

Ingredients:

3 very ripe bananas

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 tbsp sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp nutmeg powder – optional but you don’t want to leave it out

3/4 cup milk/ water – I used water

Vegetable oil for frying

 

Start by mashing the bananas. In a bowl, using a fork mash the bananas.

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After a few minutes of mashing;

DSCN0354One by one, beat in the eggs.

DSCN0355Then stir in the vanilla essence.

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Add the sugar.

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In another bowl mix the flour, baking powder and the nutmeg.

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Add a third of the flour mixture into the banana and egg mixture then add half of the milk/ water and stir. Repeat this step then finish with the flour mixture.

in goes the flour.
in goes the flour.

Note: In case you find the batter a bit viscous, you can add more milk/water to achieve your desired consistency. Since, I was aiming for fluffy pancakes I didn’t add more water.

The batter is done
The batter is done

Now to the cooking, if you have a non stick pan use it, in case you don’t have one like me start by pre heating your pan. This will prevent the batter from sticking. Once the pan is heated add about a tablespoon of oil and let that heat. Then add the batter, as for the size it all depends of your ability to flip the pancakes over πŸ™‚ .

Since the batter is thick, you can spoon it over to get drop scones or you can pour it out to get a pancake. I tried both methods.

Cook lightly on both sides, when bubbles appear on the top side the pancake is ready to be flipped. Keep a keen eye since pancakes tend to burn if not turned at the right time.

DSCN0377The flip side

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And we are done!

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Finally serve them up warm and drizzle over your favourite syrup. I just top them up with honey.

Verdict:

Extremely fluffy and the banana and nutmeg flavour, spot on. I dare you to try them.