Sticky orange, ginger and honey glazed chicken on the braai

It is summer and time to braai!  We have been experiencing wonderful weather, and typically South African, tend to celebrate this with fire, good wine and even better food on the braai.

This recipe was adapted from a sticky rib marinade recipe which, with a few changes, works wonders on chicken.

Marinade:

8 chicken pieces (I used legs and thighs)

4 tablespoons honey

8 tablespoons thick soya sauce

1/2 -1 teaspoon chinese five spice (depends on taste)

1/2-1 teaspoon ginger

1 whole chilli, finely chopped

zest of 1 orange

juice of 1 orange

Mix all the marinade ingredients together, and place the chicken pieces in the marinade. Allow to marinade for at least an hour before braaiing. Prepare you coals, and braai the chicken slowly until cooked. Remember to brush the chicken regularly whilst braaiing. Serve with sides such as bread and salad.

Cumin lentils and honey pumpkin salad

At the last moment last night, we decided to braai.  There wasn’t a lot in the fridge or cupboard to make up a side dish (it being almost the end of the month).  That, for me, is the perfect challenge and a great opportunity to be creative. I mentioned in a previous post that I have a lot of frozen Hubbard squash in my freezer (one Hubbard and two people means at least 4X 500 grams frozen portions of squash that takes a while to work through).  Some lentils, and beautiful baby Swiss chard from my garden plus a basil vinaigrette as well as the squash does make the salad!

A perfect companion to grilled mustard pepper steak, or as a meal on its own. This salad really stole the show and can easily serve four.

3/4 cup brown lentils, cooked

1 tablespoon roughly grounded cumin

1 tablespoon roughly ground coriander

2 tablespoons olive oil

350-400 grams cubed cooked squash

2 tablespoons heated, runny honey

8-10 leafs baby spinach/ Swiss chard

Parmesan slivers and chives for garnish

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place the cooked, cubed squash in a greased baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and honey.  Flavour with salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Remove for the oven, and allow to cool.

In the meantime, heat a dash of oil over moderate heat.  Add the cumin and coriander and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils and fry for another 5-8 minutes. Remove from the stove, and allow to cool.

Basil vinaigrette:

50 ml olive

50 ml balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

5 ml white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

2-3 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil

Mix all the ingredients together, and whisk well.

Assembly of the salad:

Rinse the baby spinach/chard and place in a salad bowl. Add the cooled pumpkin and lentils and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Toss lightly and serve immediately.

Yoghurt muesli rusks

I love, love, love rusks!  They are perfect for a quick snack with a cup of coffee, something to nibble on during a tea break, or to overcome the munchies between meals. South Africa has a long heritage of rusks, and you should be able to find good old “beskuit” (rusks) in most households.  If I find the time, I prefer to bake my own- the really good ones are quite expensive and the cheaper ones are just not that nice.  I originally found a recipe for muesli rusks on http://ruskrecipes.com/recipes/buttermilk-muesli/, a wonderful blog that only focuses on rusks . I’ve adapted my recipe a bit to lessen the sugar, and added and adjusted until I came up with this recipe. Many rusk recipes also require the use of self-raising flour, which is apparently not so readily available overseas as here, so for this recipe I make my own with bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar.  This recipe is definitely not difficult but it does require a bit of extra sifting. It is worth the effort though, because the result is a light and crispy rusk!

This recipe gives 30-40 rusks

1/2 cup sugar

1 large, free range egg

1/3 cup honey

1 cup yoghurt

250 grams margarine, melted (or butter, if preferred)

2 cups muesli (I buy raw oat muesli with raisins, seeds and nuts specifically for baking)

1 cup dessicated coconut

1/2 cup raisins

250 grams cake flour

250 grams whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

4 teaspoons cream of tartar

20 ml baking powder

2 1/2 ml salt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, margarine, egg, honey and yoghurt. Mix well, and add the muesli, coconut and extra raisins. In a separate bowl, sift the whole wheat flour, cake flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda, salt and baking powder. Sifting of the whole wheat flour will result in separation of the bran and flour. Once you’ve sifted it through, just add the separated bran to the egg mixture. Sift the flour three times, and then add to the egg mixture. It will be dry, but mix gently until all the ingredients come together and is wet. Gently press the dough into prepared baking pans (the dough should be about 3-5 centimetres thick) and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and cooked through (a testing knife should come out clean). Gently turn out on a cooling tray and let cool until cold before cutting it. This should prevent excessive crumbling. Once it is cool, cut it into rusk-sized fingers and place in the bottom drawer of your oven at a low, low temperature (please help here-what is the bottom drawer called?!), and leave overnight to dry. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

Cinnamon flapjacks with grilled honey apricots

Another weekend breakfast recipe!  This recipe has been adjusted and made up over the years from so many other flapjack recipes that it has almost taken on a live of its own.  Last weekend I made the flapjacks with cumin and served them with poached eggs. This morning I decided to go the sweet route and added a touch of sugar and cinnamon. I don’t know how healthy this breakfast is, but it was absolutely scrumptious!

Enough for 2 to 3 portion (and of course the recipe can be doubled if so desired!)

For the apricots:

Switch the grill on for the the oven.  Half the apricots (I used 1 1/2 apricots per serving), remove the pip, and place half a teaspoon of honey in the middle of the halved apricot and place on a greased baking tray in the oven. Grill until the honey is runny and the apricots start turning golden. Remove from the oven.

For the flapjacks:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup uncooked oats

2 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 egg

1 tablespoon cooking oil to fry

Whisk the egg in a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup milk and the melted butter. Whisk everything together. Slowly add all the dry ingredients whilst mixing after each addition.  I usually start with the flour, followed by the oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and the salt. Add the rest of your milk and mix together until the dough has a runny consistency.

Heat the oil in a large pan over moderate heat and place heaped tablespoon dollops of dough in the pan. They are ready to be flipped once you see bubbles forming on the surface of the flap jack. Turn once and fry for another 3 minutes or until brown on the other side. Serve warm, covered with apricots and melted honey!