Cooking is a procedure of marrying the right ingredients to produce something better than its parts, a complete dish. It is about love for the art and the culinary adventure; not just for “the one”.
Green Pea and Chive Soup
– 200g potatoes, peeled and cut into fine cubes
– 1 tbspn garlic paste
– 2 tbsns unsalted butter
– 1 1/2ltrs vegetable stock (or 1.5ltrs water and 4 vegetable stock cubes)
– 400g frozen peas, thawed 2 tbspns chives, finely chopped
– pinch salt
– pinch black pepper, freshly ground
- In a large sauce pan, heat the butter and when hot sauté the chopped potatoes and the garlic paste until lightly brown.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring the mix to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and tender.
- Add the thawed peas and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the peas are tender. Cool slightly.
- Use a hand wand mixer or a stand up blender and process the soup until smooth.
- Add the chopped chives, salt and black pepper to taste and serve immediately with a small spoonful of sour cream in the centre.
Chive, Cheese and Asparagus Soufflé
– 500g frozen cut asparagus, thawed and well drained
– 100g finely shredded cheddar cheese
– 75g mayonnaise (store bought)
– 2 tbspns chives, freshly chopped
– 1/2 onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic
– 4 egg whites
– pinch cream of tartar
– pinch salt
- In a hot fry pan, sauté the onion and garlic until coloured.
- In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, cheese, mayonnaise, chives and onion/ garlic mixture. Using a spatula, fold all these ingredients together.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and the salt on medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Fold into asparagus mixture.
- Fold the egg whites into the asparagus mixture in 2-3 batches. With each batch, it is advised to be more and more careful while folding the egg whites in.
- Transfer the finished mixture into a greased large ramekin or soufflé dish or individual dishes and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
- Serve immediately.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
120g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar 2 eggs, large
30g red food colour
1 tspn white vinegar
250g plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 tspn salt
15g cocoa powder
1 tspn bicarbonate soda
For the icing:
100g unsalted butter
500g icing or confectioners’ sugar
1 tspn vanilla essence
- To make the red velvet cupcake batter, place the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until the mixture is light in colour.
- Add the eggs one at a time and combine well after each addition.
- In a bowl, mix together the laban, red food colour and the white vinegar and whisk.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate soda and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and start the blender while slowly adding the liquids.
- When all ingredients are added, scrape down the bowl and ensure everything is thoroughly combined.
- Spoon the mixture into cupcake paper- lined cupcake tin and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 25-35 minutes until baked.
- Allow to cool before icing.
- To make the icing, cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
- When the butter is completely incorporated add the milk slowly to the mixture and increase the speed of the mixer and beat the icing for 2-3 minutes before removing and using on the cupcakes immediately.