Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Paella Recipe

I was very spoilt this Christmas, and one of my gifts was a cherry red Le Creuset cast iron Buffet Casserole (yay!!) – perfect for Paellas! So what better reason does one need to prepare a deliciously fragrant – and not to mention healthy – seafood feast.

(Serves 4)

1 Pinch Saffron threads
80ml Sherry
2 Tbls Olive Oil
4 Spring Onions, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, sliced
4 Small or 1 large Sweet peppers
½ Chorizo sausage (about 15cm long), sliced
2 ½ Cups Arborio rice
500ml Chicken or vegetable stock
250g Squid, sliced or whole small tentacles
250g Small prawns, cleaned and de-shelled leaving the tail on
1 Smoked chicken fillet, sliced
1 Cup frozen peas
8 Langoustines, cleaned, with shell still on
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
Dried chilli flakes, for seasoning
Fresh coriander, for garnish
Fresh lemon wedges, for garnish

How to make it
Soak the Saffron in the sherry in a small pan, warm (but don’t boil) and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy based pan. Add the spring onions & sweet peppers and fry for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
Add the chorizo and fry until the sausage edges become caramelised and the oil starts seeping out.
Scatter the rice over the bottom of the pan and fry for a few minutes, coating it well with the oil.
Add the chicken, squid, prawns, langoustines and peas, and toss everything together.
Heat the stock and pour over the rice mixture. Add the sherry and saffron mix.
Stir to mix everything together and bring to the boil. Once bubbling, turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 15 – 20 minutes, until the rice is tender. Do not stir at all.
Separate the rice and other ingredients lightly with a fork.
Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
Serve scattered with fresh coriander and lemon wedges.

  • This dish is perfect for using up leftovers. Use whatever you have in the fridge. Meats should be cooked when added, but seafood raw.
  • You can spice it up with some smoked paprika.
  • A crispy crust should form at the bottom of the pan – just keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t blacken.
  • Have all your ingredients pre-prepped and sliced, once the cooking starts you won’t have time for chopping!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Valentine's Goodies

Spoil someone this Valentine’s Day
with sweet treats, salty snacks
and fluffy cakes.

for more information, visit

or contact


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mixed Berry & Sour Cream no-bake Cheese Cake

We served this cheese cake on Christmas Day, and it was the perfect accompaniment to a chilled lunch by the pool. Recipe from Food & Home Entertaining, December 2011, p55.

Mixed Berry & Sour Cream no-bake Cheese Cake
(Makes one tart)

200g (2 cups) Shortbread biscuits
80ml (1/3 cup) Butter, soft

230g (1cup) Cream cheese
150g Castor sugar
20ml (2Tbls) Lemon juice
250ml (1 cup) Sour cream
20ml (4 tsp) Powder gelatin
125ml (1/2 cup) Cold water
125ml (1/2 cup) Blueberries

Berry Topping
250ml (1 cup) Berry juice
15ml (1 Tbls) Cornflour
15ml (1 Tbls) Water
15ml (1 Tbls) Sugar
100g Raspberries, puréed

How to make it
For the base, place the biscuits and butter into a food processor and process until combined.
Lightly grease a 15cm loose-bottom cake tin and press in the biscuit mixture to form a base. Set in the fridge for at least 40 minutes while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, mix the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and sour cream together until combined.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and leave it for a few minutes. Place some warm water into a bigger bowl and place the bowl with the gelatin mixture into it to gently melt the gelatin. Whisk 15ml (1 Tbls) of the cream cheese mixture into the melted gelatin. Mix well and pour half over the biscuit crust.
Sprinkle over the blueberries and cover with the rest of the filling. Place in the fridge to set.
For the topping, mix all the ingredients together and heat gently until slightly thickened. Allow to cool completely.
It can be poured over the cake while it is still setting – just ensure that the top of the cheesecake is firm to the touch before adding the topping.
Place the cheese cake in the fridge to set overnight.
Serve topped with a selection of fresh berries and a dusting of icing sugar.


PS. There are quite a few processes, so plan your steps before hand; also, you’ll need to prepare this cake the day before as it needs time to set.