Vegetarian sausage rolls

Posted by Sarah On October - 29 - 20091 COMMENT

I made these sausage rolls for a picnic recently, and they went down really well. They are super easy and quick to make, and will please hardened meat-eating sausage roll lovers. The uncooked mixture looks bland and boring but it somehow transforms into really meaty (but not in a gross faux-meat kind of way) sausage rolls. Serve slightly warm with tomato sauce, although they’re also good when cold and part of a picnic.


Vegetarian Sausage Rolls


I got this recipe from this website, and added a few of my own touches.

Filling:

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 125 g pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 1 ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 T worcestershire sauce
  • 250 g chunky cottage cheese
  • 1 cup oats
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 rolls of ready-made puff pastry
  • 2 beaten egg yolks

Heat the oven to 220C.

Combine all the filling ingredients.

You can either make mini sausage rolls or a couple of big ones that you can cut up after cooking. Small ones are good for taking on a picnic.

Cover a baking tray with baking paper and roll out sheet of puff pastry onto it. For big rolls, cut the puff pastry in half lengthways. Fill one vertical half of each rectangle with filling, and then wet the edges of the half with filling with a bit of water. Fold over the other half of the rectangle on top and seal closed by pushing down on the edges with a fork. Repeat with the other rectangle and other rolls of pastry. Make a couple of slashes with a knife on top of each roll, and brush over with beaten egg.

For small rolls, cut small rectangles. Fill one vertical half with filling, wet the edges of that half and pull the other half on top, sealing the edges with a fork. Make a couple of slashes on each roll and brush egg over.

Bake the rolls at 220C for 20 minutes.

This is a great spring salad with lovely flavour combinations. Sweet butternut and salty feta make an obviously good team, and go well with green beans. Pearl barley and pine nuts give the salad a bit of texture. This salad is super easy to make, and goes well accompanied with roast sweet potato filled with cottage cheese.


Pearl Barley Salad


Serves 4 as a side salad

  • 500 g butternut, cut into cubes
  • 400 green beans, trimmed
  • 160 feta, cubed
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • ½ lemon
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 T pine nuts
  • vegetable stock powder/granules

Roast the butternut in a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning of salt and pepper at 180 C until it starts to go crispy and brown on the outside, and is soft and cooked on the inside. Put the feta and tomatoes in with the butternut and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pearl barley according to packet instructions, adding a few teaspoons of vegetable stock to the boiling water for flavour. Try not to stir the pearly barley too much, as it could end up a bit mushy.

Steam the green beans in a steamer or in a metal colander over a pot of boiling water until just cooked.

When the pearly barley is done, spread it out in a big flat dish. Layer the green beans over, and squeeze the lemon on top. Scatter the butternut, feta and tomatoes on top, and toss over the pine nuts.

Ginny’s breakfast rusks

Posted by Sarah On October - 15 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

Rusks are basically a South African version of biscotti – hard twice-baked biscuits. Rusks evolved as a way to preserve bread and were eaten on long journeys by South Africa’s early pioneers. Because rusks are hard, they are usually eaten after being dipped into tea or coffee.

This is my aunt Ginny’s recipe for seedy, nutty breakfast rusks. I don’t usually like rusks very much, but I love these.


Ginny's Breakfast Rusks


Ingredients :

  • 6 cups white flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 7 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 cups all bran flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pecan nuts (optional)
  • 500 ml buttermilk or plain yoghurt
  • 250 ml oil
  • 300 g butter
  • 3 free-range eggs

Mx all the dry ingredients together.

Melt butter and allow to cool.

Beat the eggs.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together to make a dough.  Divide the dough in half and flatten in two roasting pans that have been lined with tinfoil and greased. Cut the dough into rusk-sized shapes before placing the tins inside the oven to cook for 1 hour at 160 C.

Once cooked, the rusks need to be lifted and placed upright in the roasting pan and returned to the oven at 100 C for a further 2 hours. Turn off the oven and leave the rusks in there overnight so that they are able to dry out well.


Ginny's Breakfast Rusks

Dark chocolate chilli brownies

Posted by Sarah On October - 5 - 20093 COMMENTS
I’ve tried to come up with a healthy(ish) chocolate brownie recipe and this is the result. It’s dark and chocolatey, not too sweet and not oily. I love chilli with everything, and of course it goes so well with dark chocolate. Here it gives the brownies a slight kick, but if you are afraid of heat you can leave it out. I’ve used Lindt dark chocolate here – try and use good quality dark chocolate, as it really makes a difference.
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped roughly
120 g butter
1 cup of brown sugar
½ tsp baking powder
4 free-range eggs
3 T agave nectar or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
100g chopped walnuts
10 pitted dates, chopped
3 T plain yoghurt
Melt the butter and the chocolate in the microwave on a low heat, stirring often so as not to overcook.  Mix well to combine, and then add the sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, agave or honey and yoghurt. Stir in the dates.
In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and chilli powder. Fold into the wet mixture. Mix in the walnuts.
Pour into a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven at 180C for 40 minutes. Check that the brownies are done by inserting a toothpick into the centre. If it comes out clean, they are ready.

I’ve tried to come up with a healthy(ish) chocolate brownie recipe and this is the result. It’s dark and chocolatey, not too sweet and not oily. I love chilli with everything, and of course it goes so well with dark chocolate. Here it gives the brownies a slight kick, but if you are afraid of heat you can leave it out. I’ve used Lindt dark chocolate here – try and use good quality dark chocolate, as it really makes a difference.


Dark chocolate chilli brownies

  • 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped roughly
  • 120 g butter
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 3 T agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • 10 pitted dates, chopped
  • 3 T plain yoghurt

Melt the butter and the chocolate in the microwave on a low heat, stirring often so as not to overcook.  Mix well to combine, and then add the sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, agave or honey and yoghurt. Stir in the dates.

In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and chilli powder. Fold into the wet mixture. Mix in the walnuts.

Pour into a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven at 180C for 40 minutes. Check that the brownies are done by inserting a toothpick into the centre. If it comes out clean, they are ready.

Tomato and basil tart

Posted by Sarah On October - 5 - 20093 COMMENTS

These tarts were adapted from ones my sister makes. They are so easy to make, and really delicious. With the mozzarella and tomatoes, they are kind of like puff pastry pizzas.


Tomato and basil tart


Makes two tarts, to serve 6 people as a light lunch or starter

  • 2 x rolls of puff pastry (400g each)
  • 400g baby or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • A handful of grated Parmesan
  • 2 handfuls of grated Mozzarella
  • 1 ½ tsp basil pesto
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 2 T pine nuts
  • fresh basil leaves
  • Balsamic vinegar

Roll out the puff pastry onto greased baking trays. Make a 2cm wide incision (don’t cut through the pastry) around each roll. Bake the pastry in a 180C oven for 15 minutes.

While the pastries are baking, put the tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle over the sugar and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Just before the pastry is done, mix the tomatoes with the pesto and garlic and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Take the pastries out of the oven and sprinkle the cheeses evenly over both tarts. Divide the tomatoes between them and spread them out evenly. Sprinkle over the pine nuts. Bake in the oven at 180C for 10 minutes, or until the cheese starts turning golden.

Tear the basil leaves roughly and scatter over the tarts. Drizzle over a bit of balsamic vinegar. Serve warm with a simple rocket salad.