Tag Archives: ginger

BBQ Spices

5 Jul

BBQ Spice

So I’m sure I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that as a South African, albeit one living in the UK, Barbecuing (braaing) borders on religion.  Commandment number 1 – Whenever the weather presents an opportunity meat will be thrown onto flames and charred until done.  Which is great and delicious, but sometimes well – excuse me a sec while I duck out of lightning range – it can get a little boring. Seeing as there is no wriggle room in commandment one and seeing as it has been a truly lovely summer thus far I had to find someway to spice things up – I hope you enjoy.  With all three of these all you need to do is add  some of the spice to taste to your chosen hunk of meat and then grill – and if the weather isn’t being kind – they work just as well in the oven.

Lemon & Lime Pepper – works beautifully on fish or chicken

L&L INGTo start take:

  • the zest of three limes
  • the zest of three lemons
  • 1/3 cup of black pepper corns
  • 1/3 cup of salt flakes

L&L ZestedHeat the oven to 120°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

L&L DriedMix the pepper and the zest together and bake until the zest is completely dry – about an hour should do it.

L&L GrindAdd the salt to the lemon/pepper mix and then grind.  You can use a mortar and pestle  – this will take an eternity or a coffee/spice grinder.  I have this beautiful old coffee grinder the BH gave me while we were still in Taiwan.  It started life as a coffee grinder, but is now dedicated to grinding spices.  Grind it all up and store in an  air tight jar.

Apple Spice – Brilliant on Pork

This is one of those spice that just kind created itself while I was staring at some pork loins.  I turned to the spice cupboard to find some inspiration and knocked over the fruit bowl.  I love it when stuff like that happens.

AP INGTo start take:

  • two or three apples
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 table spoons of Szechuan Pepper
  • 2 table spoons of ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup of salt flakes

AP DriedHeat the oven to 120 °C.  Finely – like use a mandolin finely – slice the apples and place on foil or parchment paper.  Bake the apples for about an hour and a half and then turn off the oven and leave the apples in the oven until it has cooled or overnight.  Process the apples until they have been broken down into tiny pieces.  Mix the apple with all the other ingredients for the apple spice and grind into a very find powder.

Cajun Rub – Perfect on EVERYTHING from potato wedges to steak

So this is the first spice mix I ever made and nothing else has ever quite matched up.  It is used on almost everything in our household and it’s simplicity itself.

Cajun ING

To start take:

  • 2 tablespoons of cumin seads
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • 1 table spoon of salt flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of hot smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme.

Cajun cumin toastingToast the cumin seeds in a heavy based frying pan until the seads are just starting to brown and pop.  Add to all the other ingredients for the Cajun rub and then grind together in a spice grinder. For the best potato wedges ever – cut your potatoes into wedges and place in a large bowl.  Add oil to taste and a teaspoon or three of the Cajun rub.  Toss to coat and bake the wedges at 200°C for about 40 minutes – potatoes perfected!

Coconut, Ginger and Lime Crème Brûlée

22 Jun

CB Square2I love my family and friends and my favourite thing in the world is cooking for the people I love. Sometimes however,  and before I hear any protests, I do appreciate this is through no fault of their own,  they make it a near impossible task.  I mean honestly, what can you make for dessert for a bunch that have among them the following dietary no-nos: lactose, gluten, any form of cheese and no meat whatsoever?  So, no cheese cake, no gelatine based desserts,  no ice-cream, no cakes or pies or tarts or cookies – which pretty much destroyed all the usual tricks I can quickly pull from my hat.

Secret confession time? I love challenges like this – and so to the internet to find solutions. Thanks to Tom Aikens for this amazing little number, which I’ve tweaked ever so slightly. I’ve used Asian flavours because we were having an asian inspired Barbecue,  but this is one of those wonderful desserts where the only flavour limit is your imagination – I think we’re doing a salted caramel one next or maybe one inspired by the Waterside Inn with pistachios.

CB INGTo start take:

  • six egg yolks
  • the zest and juice of one lime
  • a piece of ginger about the size of your thumb (ish)
  • 75gm golden caster sugar
  •  extra golden caster sugar for the brûlée
  • 500ml lacto free cream (if you aren’t lactose intolerant use double cream)
  • 125ml whole lacto free milk (if you aren’t lactose intolerant use whole milk)
  • 2 tsp of coconut flavour

CB Grated Ginger and Lime ZestHeat the oven to 160°C and finely grate the zest off of your lime and grate the ginger.

CB, Cream,  Milk, lime and gingerAdd the milk, the cream and the grated lime zest and ginger to a small sauce pan and slowly heat over a low flame.

CB Eggs, sugar,  coconut and limeJuice the lime and then place the lime juice,  the egg yolks,  (save the whites for marshmallows or meringues) the caster sugar and the coconut flavour into a large bowl (or the bowl of your mixer) and whisk until pale and fluffy.

CB Eggs mixedOnce your egg mixture looks like the one above check on your milk/cream mix – it should be just shy of boiling.

CB Strain CreamStrain the milk and cream mixture to remove the ginger pulp and lime zest – you want the crème to be smooth and creamy to contrast with the crunchy brûlée and if you leave the ginger and lime in,  it will just be gritty. Pour the strained milk/cream mix on to the egg mix and whisk the two together.

CB Unbaked Boil your kettle and fill a large,  flat bottomed, oven proof dish so that the water is about 1.5 cm deap.  Place the egg/cream mixture into your ramkins and place the ramkins into the oven proof dish. Place the dish into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes.

CB BakedThe tops of your custards should still have a slight wobble, BUT they SHOULD NOT be brown *blush*, but if they do brown a little, don’t panic, the brûlée will cover any errors.  Place the custards in the fridge for at least two hours or if you like to prepare ahead, overnight.

CB dust with sugarWhen you’re ready to serve dessert remove from the fridge and lightly dust the tops of your custard with a coating of golden brown sugar and then. . .

CB Blow TorchBURN BABY BURN   Lightly caramelise the sugar with a blow torch.  THIS IS THE MOST FUN EVER!  I may be a little sad.  If you don’t have a cooks’ blow torch run out and buy one now trust me you WILL thank me you can turn on the grill of your oven on to it’s highest setting and pop the dessert under the grill.  Keep an eye on the sugar and remove the moment sugar has melted.  Pop the desserts back in fridge for a few minutes to cool down and to harden the sugar and then dig in.

CB Finishing shot 2





Chili Beef Wonton Cups

13 Aug

So I was watching Masterchef USA last night.  Yes,  I confess that while I eschew reality TV as a whole, I make exceptions for Masterchef and the Great British Bake Off.   I mean who among us food bloggers doesn’t secretly dream of winning one or the other?  Honestly?  So while watching,  the contestants were given a MASSIVE bowl of mince, or ground beef if you prefer, and told to come up with a dish that wasn’t a hamburger.  An amazing challenge when you consider just how much you can do with it.  Now the best part about watching shows like this is that they challenge you just a little bit.   They make you ask yourself, “What would I do?”  Which I love, because it’s so easy to become complacent in the kitchen.   Anyway, this is what I would have made.  Simple enough to be fail-safe,  tasty and hopefully unique enough to make an impact.  BH has nicknamed them Wanton Delights.

To make 18 chili beef wonton cups take:

  • 18 Wonton Wrappers
  • 400 gms of mince
  • 3-4 spring onions (sliced)
  • 2 large red chillies (sliced)
  • 1 piece of ginger about the size of your thumb (pealed and grated)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • basil to taste (Thai basil if you can find it)
  • 2 tsp of corn flour
  • 3 Tbs of soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.  Then heat a little oil in a wok or frying pan and add your aromatics; spring onion, garlic, chili and ginger.  I LOVE  the smell of Chinese aromatics!  Allow to cook for a minute or two and then add your mince.  Cook until the mince is cooked through.  Add your corn flour to the soy sauce and mix to dissolve.  Add the soy sauce – corn flour mix to the mince and continue to cook for a few minutes until the mixture resembles the one in the picture below.  Finely slice the basil and add to the dish for the last minute of cooking.  You don’t want to loose the flavour of the basil by adding it too soon.

Brush the bottom and sides of a muffin pan with olive oil and press the wonton wrappers into the bottom to form cups.

Brush the wrappers with a little more olive oil and place in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes until brown and crispy.  Keep a close eye on them as they can burn very easily.

Hmmmm, crisp and gorgeously golden.   Allow to cool slightly then remove from the muffin tin and fill with the chili beef mixture.  Garnish with a slice of raw chili  and a sprinkle of spring onion.

Pork, Apple and Ginger Dumplings

19 May

The BH and I were recently in London for a few nights and while we were there we couldn’t resist the lure of Chinatown. One of the  restaurants we ate in while there, yes we ate in more than one,  was a Taiwanese restaurant called Leong’s Legend, where the Three Cup Chicken and Scallion Pancakes literally had me in tears.  They weren’t particularly great and the portions were tiny, but the food tasted of a place I had called home for eight years.  They say smell is powerfully emotive, I think taste is even more so.

Rather than satiating my need for Chinese food however,  all my trip did was remind me how much I love cooking with Chinese ingredients.   My Taiwanese friends should stop reading now.  My friends who fancy themselves experts ON Chinese food should probably look away.  What I’m about to make isn’t “traditional” nor is it “correct,” but it is Fudgin’ Good.

To start take;

  • 1 pkt of Dumpling skins
  • 1 onion (finely diced)
  • about 4 scallions (sliced)
  • a piece of ginger about the size of your thumb (finely grated)
  • 1 apple (coarsely grated)
  • 500 gm minced pork
  • 2 tsps corn flour
  • 60 mls (4Tbs) of soy sauce
  • vegetable oil
  • water

I’m going to mention hardware here too because you’re going to need a large frying pan/wok that has a lid to cook these babies.

Splash a generous glug of oil into the pan and bring to a medium heat.  fry the onions and scallions for a few minutes and then add the ginger and apple.   Continue to cook for a further three to four minutes and then add the pork and cook until completely done.  This is where I have deviated from traditional methods which add the pork to the skins raw, but I’m a little squeamish about raw pork, so I hope you’ll forgive me.

Add the corn flower to the cold soy sauce and stir well, then add this to the cooking mince.   This will thicken up the mixture and make it easier to stuff the pastry skins.  Allow the mix to cool and then pop on a good DVD that won’t require too much cerebral action, cause you’re going to be stuffing for a while.

Brush the edges of the skin with water and then make at least three pleats on one side of the circle.  Then take a teaspoon of the filling and place in the middle of the dumpling skin. Then press the un-pleated side to the pleated side and seal.  Repeat.  Thirty times.  *sigh*  It is worth it though.  Trust me. Look below.  See how pretty.

Clean out the frying pan/wok and heat another splash of vegetable oil in the pan and bring to a medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, place as many dumplings as you can in the pan without crowding them.  Cook until the bottoms are crispy and brown, about 3-5 minutes.  Now comes the fun part.  the thing your mother told you never to do.  Ever!  We’re going to add water to a pan of hot oil.  Get the water and the lid ready.  Splash about 100mls of water into the bottom of the pan and immediately cover with the lid.  Leave the dumplings to steam for about five minutes until the skins begin to look translucent and then serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.  Enjoy!

PS  You are you going to probably have a lot of filling left over.  It’s great on toast, or noodles or even just on it’s own.


the port elizabeth blogger

The Banting Cook

Banting recipes – low carb, sugar free and gluten free. Banting recipes I have tried - those that have failed and those that have been a success! I am not a dietician, I'm just a gal who loves to cook banting food, and keep it as good as possible! Obviously all recommendations throughout this and other posts are not intended as an alternative, treatment, or prevention of diseases, medical treatments or advice. The reader takes full responsibility for counting nutritional information such as carbs, while trying any and all recipes :-)

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