Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Nectarine Parcels

Phew, last post, last minute! Thank you LadyRaven for hosting the Ready Steady Cook! challenge, it definitely was a challenge to finish it all on time (due to my laziness...), but it was a learning experience.


This dessert is quick and dirty, no measuring of ingredients, just add to taste..!

Nectarine Parcels

  • Nectarines, cut into slivers
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Mixed Spice
  • Lemon Zest
  • Phyllo Pastry

  1. Melt the butter and sugar in a pan. Add the nectarines and cook for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the spices and lemon zest, cook for a few minutes more and remove from heat.
  3. Cut phyllo pastry into 10cm wide strips. Place about 5 strips on top of each other.
  4. Place some nectarines on one of the corner areas. Fold the corner over to the opposite side to form a triangle. Keep on folding triangles until you have reached the end of the strip. Brush the edge with butter to seal the triangle.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius until the pastry is golden brown.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Filled Red Pepper with Hollandaise Sauce

In my mind the 15th of September was on a Friday (I soon realised that it was actually a Wednesday). This date is significant because it is the deadline for entries for the Ready Steady Cook! challenge. Why did I fly into a panic when I realised that the 15th of September was tomorrow? It is because up until that point I had only finished my starter entry. This blog post will probably hold the record for the fastest turnover time between cooking and blogging, there's nothing like a deadline to get me moving!


I had my reservations about how successful this course would be, but the pronounced silence when my boyfriend started eating soon quelled any fears I had! This is the first time that I have made hollandaise sauce, despite my fears of ending up with pieces of lumpy egg it came out great; smooth, creamy, lemony and oh so tasty!

Check out my first post to see what this Ready Steady Cook is all about: Red Pepper Walnut Dip with Naan Bread

Hollandaise Sauce

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 150ml butter
  • Juice of 1-1.5 lemons
  • Salt to taste

  1. Place egg yolks, salt and lemon juice in a blender. Blend for 1 minute.
  2. Heat butter until very hot (the butter is going to cook the eggs).
  3. With the blender running very slowly pour in the butter.
  4. Continue blending for about a minute, then it's done!

Couscous and Broccoli filled Red Pepper with Chickpeas
Serves 2

  • 1 Large Red Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Couscous, uncooked
  • 0.5 Broccoli head
  • 0.5 tin Chickpeas, drained
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin

  1. Cut red pepper in half, place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until soft.
  2. Meanwhile heat a splash of oil in a pan. Add cumin and fry for a minute. Add the couscous and fry for 5 minutes.
  3. Prepare the couscous according to the instructions on the packet.
  4. Steam broccoli until just cooked.
  5. Assemble and serve with the hollandaise sauce!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Red Pepper Walnut Dip with Naan Bread

This is my starter course for the Ready Steady Cook! challenge hosted by LadyRaven from Add To Taste. How does this challenge work? Each blogger thinks up a list of 7 ingredients for another participating blogger. You have to create a 3 course meal with your ingredients as well as the allowed pantry ingredients. I got assigned the following ingredients from Ayeesha from Taste of Pearl City:


  • Couscous
  • Chickpeas
  • Red Pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Walnuts
  • Filo pastry
  • Nectarines

So first thing I thought when I saw the chickpeas was "Yay, hummus!", but then I realised that tahini isn't one of the pantry ingredients, boo. "But wait", I thought, "tahini adds a nutty taste and I've got nuts man, walnuts!". So the hummus was back on, although I'll rather go with calling it a dip as it is rapidly straying from traditional hummus territory.

I decided to serve it with naan bread because I've wanted to try my hand at making it for a while now. Alas, another obstacle was in my way, after making the naan and taking photos I realised that I had used *gasp* a disallowed ingredient! Since baking powder isn't one of the pantry ingredients, I made the recipe again with self raising flour instead of bread flour and I am happy to say that it came out just as well. So with a clean conscience I can now present the recipes for Red Pepper Walnut Dip with Naan Bread!

Red Pepper Walnut Dip

  • 1 can of Chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large Red Pepper
  • 50g Walnuts
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Salt, Pepper and Cumin to taste

  1. Cut the red pepper into segments, roast in the oven until soft and cooked.
  2. Roast walnuts under the oven grill for a few minutes.
  3. Put the walnuts in a blender, blend until fine.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Extra oil can be added if the mixture is too firm.

Naan Bread
Makes about 10 thin breads

  • 3,5 cups Self Raising Flour
  • 1.5 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Milk, warmed
  • 60ml Oil
  • Melted butter for brushing the dough (keep for later)

Note: If using bread flour, add 1 teaspoon baking powder.

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Add the wet ingredients and knead for 10 minutes.
  3. Cover the dough and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  4. Break off golf ball size pieces and roll out very thin into elongated oval shapes (some refer to this as teardrop shaped).
  5. Brush the dough with melted butter and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.