Monthly Archives: February 2014

Beef Fajita Salad

Serves 4


  • 4              cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1              recipe meat or Chicken Fajita 
  • 1              cup grated cheese
  • 1              recipe Salsa
  • 1              recipe  Guacomole 
  • 1/2           cup sour cream


  1. Spread the lettuce on 4 plates.
  2. Top with Fajita mix.
  3. Spread some cheese on it
  4. Spread the salsa on it.
  5. Top with guacomole and sour cream.

























Chocolate Cake




  • 8                oz butter, room temperature
  • 8                oz sugar
  • 4                eggs
  • 1/2             tsp vanilla essence
  • 7                oz all purpose flour
  • 1                oz cocoa powder
  • 2                level tsp baking powder
  • 1/4             cup warm water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9″ cake tin with cooking spray or butter.  Line the pan with parcement paper.

  1. Cream butter and sugar till it is light and fluffy. About 5 min.
  2. Add 1 egg at a time beating well.
  3. Add vanilla essence and mix. 
  4. Add baking powder to the flour, fold in flour,  adding water to make a dropping consistency. 
  5. Pour the mixture in the prepared tin.
  6. Bake on the middle shelf for 40 min or until done.  (the cakes are done when, if you put the tooth pick in the centre of the cake and the tooth pick comes out clean).
  7. Let it cool in the pan for 10 min.
  8. Transfer it onto a cooling tray.

Continue reading Chocolate Cake

Morroccan Eggplant and Apricot Pies

**Harissa, a North African chile sauce , lends heat to these hand pies.  Brand vary in intensity, so taste yours first.  If it seems fiery , start with a little, and cook a portion of the meat to taste.  You can also make your own sauce.

Dried apricots and harissa give sweetness and spice to a meaty filling wrapped in a buttery, flaky crust.

This is a recipe I found in Martha Stewart magazine in 2007.

Makes 40


  • 3                   tbsp extra-virgin oil
  • 1/2                medium eggplant, peeled and cut into
  •                      1/2″  cubes (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2             lbs.  Ground Beef mix
  • 2                  slices white bread, torn into large pieces 
  • 1/4               cup whole milk 
  • 2                  tsp green masala
  • 1                  small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1                  large egg 
  •                     Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 1 1/4            lb ground chuck (80 percent to 85 percent lean)
  • 1/2                cup chopped dried apricots
  • 3                    tbsp Harissa


  • 1                    recipe Short Crust Pastry
  •                       extra flour for dusting
  • 1                    large egg, slightly beaten, for the wash
  • 1                    tbsp cold water


Make the filling:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium – high heat.  Cook eggplant with salt, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly golden, about 5 minutes.  Let cool.
  2. Mix together eggplant, meat, apricots, and harissa until just combined.  Divide into 40 and shape into a small sausage.
  3. Make the short crust pastry and make 4 disks.  Roll out 1 disk at a time to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.
  4. Cut into 5 inch circles.  Refrigerate scrapes if needed.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly brush edges of 1 dough circle with egg wash.  Top with 1 portion of meat.  Fold dough to encase filling, forming a half moon.  Carefully press around edges to seal.  Press with a fork.  Make a vent in the top using a skewer or a kniife.  Repeat with remaining dough and meat, transferring pies to parchment lined baking sheets.  Refrigerate until dough is very firm, about an hour or freeze for 30 min.
  6. Brush tops with eggwash.   Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden and filling is cooked through,  about 40 minutees.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

Make Ahead:

Uncooked pies can be frozen,  wrapped in plastic, for up to a month.  Proceed with baking instruction(no extra  baking time needed)

Meat Mix
small sausage         
Filled Pies

Hot Garlic Sauce


  • 2                tbsp oil
  • 1                tbsp garlic paste
  • 2-3,            dry broken red chillies
  • 1                tbsp chili Sauce
  • 3                tablespoon ketchup
  • 1                cup chicken stock
  • 1                tbsp soya sauce
  • 1                tsp sherry
  • 1/2             tsp salt
  • 1                tsp sugar
  • 3                tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4             cup water


  1. In a frying pan heat oil.  Reduce heat.
  2. Add dried chillies.  Add chili sauce.
  3. Mix in garlic. Fry for a minute.
  4. Add tomato ketchup and stock.  Stirring it bring to a boil.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add soya sauce, sherry, salt, sugar.
  6. Stir corn flour paste and add to the sauce.  Bring to boil.  Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring continuously, till the sauce thickens,  remove from the heat.


Harissa is a fiery blend of chilies and spices, in the form of a thick paste. Harissa is native to the northern African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. The history of Harissa is linked closely to that of the red pepper, which was introduced to Europe and North Africa in the 1400s. Harissa is a staple food often eaten with every meal in Morocco and its neighboring countries.
Harissa is usually made with ingredients such as chilies, garlic, vinegar, salt, and olive oil, though the recipe for Harissa varies based on the region of production. While the base of Harissa is hot chili peppers, additional ingredients may include coriander, caraway, paprika, lemon juice or cumin. The type of pepper used will determine the heat of the chili paste.

Harissa is traditionally eaten alongside couscous, but also adds a bright vibrant flavor to sauces, dressings, marinades and soup. Harissa adds a flavorful kick to sandwiches, roasted vegetables, rice or noodles. Delicious when spread on lamb, or mixed into the sauce of a braise.   Harissa is also a perfect sauce to spoon over eggs or potatoes.


  • 12                fresh red finger-length chillies
  • 1-1/2            tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2               tsp caraway seeds
  • 4                  cloves garlic
  • 1/2               tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2.                 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 1/2            tsp lemon juice 
  • 1                  tbsp light olive oil
  • 7                  drops rose water
  1. Instructions
  2. Roast the coriander and caraway seeds over the heat in a dry frying pan until fragrant, making sure they do not burn, then work to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.
  3. In a blender add all the ingredients and blend to a fine paste, then set aside for at least an hour before using it.

The fiery paste can be turned into a mellow dip by stirring through natural yoghurt.

The Harissa will keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

FREEZE: In nice cube trays, then pop out and use when needed.

Rhubarb jam


  • 2                      lbs rhubarb, trimmed and cut crosswise, 1/2 inch thick (6 1/2 cups) 
  • 1                      lb sugar (2 1/4 cups)  
  • 1/4                   tsp salt 
  •                         fresh lemon juice (optional) 


  1. Bring rhubarb, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot, stirring often. 
  2. Cook, stirring often, until bubbles slow, foam subsides, fruit rises to the top, and jam sticks to a wooden or metal spoon when lifted from mixture, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir in lemon juice to taste. 
  4. Let cool for 1 hour. 
  5. Refrigerate overnight.