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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Mild Sweet and Sour Pork

ooooh, I have been waiting to make this meal for a while now, and yes yes it was worth the wait, delicious! So am trying, yes trying to cut down on the fatty side of pork, because am gaining a little bit of weight. Honestly, I’ve never understood what benefit or lack of, pork has to the human body. I just know it smells divine on a frying pan. So anyone out there who wishes to educate me, please do feel free.

Sweet and sour has always been two of my favorite words in one sentence, something that has a bit of hot and sweet to balance off your palates, now what more could one ask for! Since the first time I tasted sweet and sour sauce, I was sold out, sadly though no other sauce with the same name has ever matched that first love encounter. Umh I think it was at the Intercontinental, someone give me that recipe, pleeeeeaaaaaassssssssseeeeeeee!

Anyway to serious business, found this recipe and had to try it out. This time round, I was good at taking pictures so basically you’ll see the steps or outcome of steps (no didn’t take detailed ingredient pictures, working on that though 🙂 )

Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin (no fat) Ingredients:
For the sauce:
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar ( I used regular white vinegar, just a bit)
fresh pineapple juice ( buy a fresh one and squeeze out juice, about 1/2 a cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 teaspoons Wapambe hot chili sauce (Call me for this sauce, very hooooooooooooooot)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Mix all the above ingredients into a bowl, except the water/chicken broth

Sauce

For the pork:
500gms pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut, flattened with meat tenderizer
salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup water or chicken broth to thin sauce

Steps

Tenderize the pork and season with salt and pepper

Heat pan on high, add oil and once ready place your pork and reduce heat to medium high sear pork for about 5 min on both sides

Pork Pan fried

Set pork aside

Seared Pork

 

Add butter on the same pan, place your pineapple chunks, stir for around 4 mins

Pineapple chunks

Add the sauce and stir for another 3-4 mins, then add in chilli flakes or powder and the garlic paste and let it simmer for about 6 min, adding a bit of water or chicken broth so that the sauce doesn’t thicken too much. Once ready add in your pork

Sweet bubbly Pork

Once you are happy with your cooked pork turn off the heat and serve with your choice of side dish, rice, fries, mashed or roast potatoes etc. I served mine with creamy creamy yummy spinach and mashed potatoes, delicious!

Delicious Pork

Enjoy!
 

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Pork

 

Chwan Chicken

Szechwan Chicken, Green Banana’s and Curry Cabbage

Cooked up something different and interesting the other day, we enjoyed it tremendously. The szchewan chicken, I still don’t know how to pronounce it, so we called it chwan with my husband. There was a few things I did not have so, I guess its appropriate to call it Chwan because it missed the Sze, ha! The recipe came from http://www.pikachakula.com, look it up and also try my recipe below, you shall definitely enjoy it.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 kg Chicken
  • 2 tsp corn flour ( I like limiting my meals to processed stuff, original recipe uses 2 tbsps)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder (I didn’t have this used a bit of paprika, tandoori, coriander powder)
  • 2 tsps of oil
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 spring onions

For The Sauce :

  • I cup chicken stock (used knorr chicken cubes. Put one in a cup and add hot water, stir)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp five spice powder (same as above)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp of corn flour – in one tbsp stock/ water

Method:

  1. Coat chicken in corn flour, salt and five-spice powder. Brush off excess.
  2. Stir-fry the chicken until lightly coloured. Remove from pan. Pour off all but 2 tsp of oil.
  3. Add garlic and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds before adding onions and all the sauce ingredients (mix all sauce ingredients together).
  4. Bring to a boil, return chicken to pan, heat through and serve.
Green Bananas
– 8 large green bananas
– 6 tbsps oil
First peel the bananas and boil in salty water. I added a bit of vinegar for taste.
Ensure you remove the bananas before they are well done. Drain and add cold water to ensure they don’t keep on cooking, least they become mushy
Cut up the bananas into quaters for easy frying on pan
Heat oil on pan and add in your bananas, keep the heat on medium so the bananas don’t burn
Cook them in bunches, avoid overcrowding the pan.
Curry Cabbage
2 tsp of oil
1 finely chopped onion
2 large tomatoes
2 large carrots grated
2 cups of Cabbage
2 tsps Curry Powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
Coriander
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Cook until they become transparent then add the curry powder and black pepper
After a minute add the tomatoes, allow them to cook until they are broken and form a thick paste
Add the cabbage and the grated carrots, cover with a lid and let the cabbage cook on steam
You can allow them to cook as much or as less as you wish, depending on whether you want them crunchy or well done.
Once done drizzle cut coriander, mix and turn off the heat.
Serve and enjoy with a glass of cold juice!

 

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Chicken

 

Kac Kac/Somali Cookies

Somali Mandazis

These are the best mandazis I have ever come across, simple ingredients and so so so so (ok you get the message) simple to make. Thanks Fauzia’s Kitchen Fun for this fabulous recipe. Since I started making them my husband can’t have enough of them, until now his buddies (yeh he’ll carry to work too) are making indirect orders (tough chance guys).

The several times I have made them, I mixed the ingredients not as per the actual recipe, but according to how I liked them to turn out. They are moist and buttery, try them out.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup flour; sifted
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 cup butter; melted (this is like 8 tsps)
½ cup sugar (8 tbsps, you can use as much or as less)
1 egg
1 ½ tsp. warm milk
oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a bowl, gently blend the sifted flour, salt, and baking powder.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and egg.
3. Add the milk to the butter/sugar mixture and mix.

For step 2 & 3, I usually just add in the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients instead of mixing them separately. I like when the dough is ready but the sugar granules have not yet melted, makes such crunchy but moist cookies, yummy! But you can try out the above steps and then try my step, see which one you like better.
4. Add mixture to the flour and knead until smooth dough is formed.
5. Cover with a damp towel and let rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
6. Roll out to ¼ inch thick piece.
7. Cut into shapes. Some people cut it into diamond shapes or squares.
8. Deep fry until golden brown.
9. Drain on paper towels.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Breakfast

 

Cooking/Braising beef shin-on bone

pan-fried beef shin on bone side A

pan-fried beef shin on bone side B

So Monday was a holiday here in Kenya and I was being a good host. In my quest to try out something new, I stumbled across this lovely meat in the supermarket and went on the net to find out what to do with it. Now to my fellow Kenyans, Braising is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared (cooked at high temperature) and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavor. Braising of meat is often referred to as pot roasting, though some authors make a distinction between the two methods based on whether additional liquid is added, from WIKIPEDIA.

After several and aggravating attempts, I came across a lovely site, for meats, yummy! and it had this lovely recipe on how to cook beef shanks, which is the same as beef shin on bone, a meat cut from the cow’s leg, upper I believe. Am not a fun of putting a lot of water/broth to any kind of meat, so in struggling with this new idea, I decided why not, life is too short. All I can say, is that plates went back to the kitchen with bones only, yeh success!

Being in the kitchen trying to wrap up a lot is not as easy, so I managed to only take a picture of the beef once it came from the pan after frying it on butter for about 10 minutes on both sides, sob sob! But I will cook these babies again, that is a guarantee. For those who think its expensive, you’d be surprised because those pieces cost me Kshs 166 and Kshs 210 respectively (depending on weight and they are packaged in twos), that’s bigger than any piece of 1 kg meat cut into 4 pieces, and it had bone marrow too, yummier!

Process

Melt butter/veg. oil on non-stick pan and place the beef. On high heat let the beef brown on bother sides, 1-2 mins each side.

Take out beef shanks and place them aside, as I did above, and another trick is that you can cover them with foil paper, just to maintain the moisture. Put the pan aside for later use, don’t wash.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp veg. oil or butter
4 beef shanks (about 1 1/2-inch thick)
3 large onions
1 bay leave (I didn’t have this, so left that out)
6 springs thyme
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery (I used leeks instead)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups beef broth (I used Knorr beef cubes broth)
chives to garnish (you can use a bit of coriander-dhania)

Always remember to start a meal when all your ingredients are prepared. As per foodwishes.blogspot.com/2009/09/cooking-grass-fed-beef-episode-4-beef.html’s recipe, there are some items I did not have, either because they were not readily available or are a bit expensive. These are the ingredients I put together for my big pieces of beef shin on beef, remember you can use half of the ingredients if you are cooking 2 pieces only;

3 Onions cut vertically (with the grain not across the grain)

3 Large carrots diced

1 leek sliced thinly

Rosemary and thyme broth ( so since I had these in smaller pieces, I just boiled them and sieved the broth on the beef)

Beef broth (since this was not readily available, I just bought the knorr beef cubes took 2 cubes put in a large container and added 2 cups of hot water)

Fry the onions in the same pan you browned the beef pieces.

Once you all the above ingredients ready, take a big sufuria and put your beef pieces in, add all your ingredients, season with salt and black pepper, cover with lid and let it cook for 3-4 hours on low heat, simple.

But do remember to check the soup levels once in a while, and once the beef is cooked allow the stock to thicken on high heat.
I served the above with creamy mashed potatoes and  peas, yummy! Enjoy your meal

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Beef

 

Traditional Delicacy!

The meal that took the price as a warming food was managu, ugali and fried pork, yum! The pork was bought for another day but it ended up being part of the day’s meal and boy did we enjoy it. Am a very outspoken supporter of ‘don’t cook pork meat in watery stew’ campaign.

So what I did was pan fry the pork, do NOT add oil, just let it sizzle in its own fat, because you want that fat out. Then once it is well and good take out the pork from pan, leave oil in pan, you can use it for whatever you want later on.

          

Then do the onion frying, add garlic/ginger and tomatoes. Once that mix is good and cooked add your pork and a little salt, remember pork can be salty as well. Then add a little hot water and let it simmer. Allow it to simmer to a thick stew as in picture.

The managu (this is a wild vegetable, similar to Kale, but more nutritious) on the other hand, was boiled a bit, I poured out the water, well this is only to remove a bit of the bitterness, we are sternly told that that water has the nutrients, urgh! Moving right along (before am accosted by a nutritionist) I fried an onion and added one tomato and added the managu once the tomatoes were done, then the magic ingredient, sour milk (mala), you can use cream or milk if you have none of the aforementioned, but the sourness of milk does justice to managu. Let it cook in low medium heat for a while, the longer it cooks the sweeter it becomes. That meal was fantabulous, try it out.
Serve with rice if you are unable to make or get Ugali, which is our staple food here in Kenya.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Pork

 

My favorite kind of egg!

My version of sunny side up egg – Pic from my kitchen

So this was my tea time egg on Friday, after a long long long week, am happy I sat down to a lovely cup of orange tea and my egg. I believe the reason as to my liking of this egg, aside from the fact that its very yummy! Is that its moist and you get to dig into that juice-ness with your bread.

Most homes in Kenya have their eggs well done, and that’s between pan-fried or boiled. That’s how I grew up as well, until the travels of hotels and restaurants, opened my palates to a whole new, bright and beautiful world of adventurous cuisine. I do not complain at all about the different ways we make our eggs but its a lot of fun to try new things.

I made my first poached egg just recently, to the continual delight of my husband. It wasn’t quite my liking but the sunny side up is definitely a keeper.

Poached Egg. Pic from google

The other most definite keeper is the egg in a basket, yummy and truly artistic in its form, people who come up with recipes are quite the rebels, umh!

Of course the above is sunny side up but pan-fried on both sides, not just one side as shown below.

Sunny Side up Egg-Pic from google

The usual types of eggs we know are;

Boiled

Pan fried

Scrabbled

Omelette

Yeh that’s about it, I believe. Well in my quest to research about eggs, of course we all know that they are nutritious, but of course too much of them and your body will break out with a bad case of allergy. I discovered a site that has 100 ways of cooking eggs, what! To contain sanity I shall share the link and look at it in my own pace. Enjoy!

http://www.endlesssimmer.com/2009/04/16/100-ways-to-crack-an-egg/

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Eggs

 

Zarda (sweet rice)

 

Zarda (Sweet) Rice

I found this lovely dish on one of my fav recipe sites and thought, wow, this is new and really cool. So since it was too exciting for am generously sharing it before I experiment on the same. So go out and try it out. The person modified it a bit from original sharer, so feel free to also put your additions or subtractions especially if you’re not able to access almonds very easily, coz yeh they are expensive. Enjoy!

 

A fluffy sweet rice mixed with nuts and raisins that works great as a dessert.

Recipe adapted from Rania Zohaib with some small alterations.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup basmati rice
¾  cup sugar
2 tbsp. margarine
pinch of cardamom powder
4 tbsp. peeled and flaked almonds
10-12 raisins
½ tsp. yellow food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak the rice for about 20-25 minutes.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and add color and cardamom powder to the water. Then add the drained rice and boil on medium heat until the rice is about 90% done. Drain and set aside.

Now take a small pan and heat the margarine, add the raisins and let them swell up, then turn the heat off.

Take another pan and start layering, first put half the rice, then sprinkle half the sugar and half the almond flakes, again add the remaining rice, followed by sugar and almond flakes. Drizzle the melted margarine with the raisins on top.

Turn the heat on high and stand over the pan. The sugar will start melting right away. Using your fingers or a fork, gently toss the rice with the rest of the ingredients so that it is all well mixed together.

Cover the pan with a cloth followed by the lid and put it on very low heat for about 15 minutes so that the rice gets steamed nicely. Uncover, toss with a fork and serve warm!! :)

PS: The sugar that melts over the rice helps make sure your rice maintains its beautiful appearance, so it won’t get mashed if you are careful in making this dish. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Rice

 
 
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