Monthly Archives: August 2014

Fast Food at home:Healthier,tastier options. BLT cheeseburgers,oven fries and fish&chips with tartar sauce.

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Sometimes only fast food will do…but it’s not exactly lean cuisine..it’s expensive and most of the time You don’t really know what they put in..which can make you doubt whether it’s quality ingredients..or if you’re getting the right value for your money.

So, I came up with three ideas,for this little segment, you can make at home easily. They’re healthier,better quality,lower in fat and SURELY they taste better 😉 hope you like them!

  • My first idea: BLT cheeseburgers.

Those babies are really easy to make and make for a really quick mid-week dinner. For four burgers you will need:

-500g of lean beef mince

– 9-12 slices of bacon

-8 slices of tomato

-4 big pieces of lettuce, f/e iceberg

– 4 slices of cheese, I love Comté cheese,but use any type you like: gouda,cheddar,blue cheese,it’s up to youJ

-4 burger buns

– salt,pepper,cayenne,hot mustard (f/e dijon) , ketchup, light mayo, smokey bbq sauce, liquid smoke(optional) maggi.

So what you need to do is preheat your oven so you can toast the buns off! (sounds fun,doesn’t it?;-)). I do it for about 10min,170C fan,I cut the buns in half and place them cut side down on a lined tray.

In the meantime take your mince,season with salt,pepper,a bit of maggi to taste,2-3tbsp of ketchup, 2-3 tsp of hot mustard,1tsp of liquid smoke(gives an amazing bbq flavour to it).Add cayenne and 1-2tbsp of smokey bbq sauce. Mix well and portion into four even burgers,about 3cm thick.

Your buns are toasting,your burgers are ready,slice your tomatoes,wash your lettuce,slice your cheese to have everything on the go and ready.

In a dry pan fry off your bacon till nice and crispy,take it out onto a plate and rest.DO NOT REMOVE THE BACON FAT. We will fry our burgers in it,which will make for an amazing smokey flavour.

Bring it up to heat then pop your burgers into the hot pan and fry until nice and charred on the outside and cooked through the way you like it. They won’t take long to cook,once you flip them on the other side,place cheese slice on top to melt,while the other side is cooking 😉

When everything is ready, take your toasted buns,smear some ketchup on the bottom bun, then bacon and lettuce.Your burger and tomato come next.. as some mayo on the top bun! And that’s it. I pinned the burgers together with a skewer for more stability..they’re delicious and juice and the smokey flavour comes through incredibly. You HAVE TO try them. Enough said.

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  • FRIES!

Fries are delicious but deep frying doesn’t make for the healthiest foods. I made this version and we immediately fell in love with it, they’re very easy to make..they’re not soggy at all,spicy in flavour,crispy..and perfect to go with your burgers 😉

For 4 portions you will need:

-8 large,oval potatotes,peeled and cut into wedges

– salt,garlic powder,paprika powder,pepper and cayenne.

– 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil.

Bring a large pan with a generous amount of water to boil,salt it very well to taste and cook your potato wedges for about 5min before draining and cooling them completely. Preheat your oven to 190C in the meantime..

Take your cool potato wedges,season again with salt,pepper,garlic powder,paprika powder and cayenne.Add the oil and mix with your hands. Place evenly on a baking tray,lined with baking paper and bake until golden and crispy (about 40 min).

What I like to serve them with is a garlic yoghurt and sour cream dip,which I make by mixing even amounts of sour cream and greek yoghurt..I season with salt,pepper and some garlic powder and mix 😉 hope you like them!

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  • Fish & Chips..With tartar sauce.

Now that’s a classic I just had to make! I used store bought fries here,which makes this dinner really simple..and because they’re oven baked,they’re really low in fat.As is the fish. You can use any fish you like..cod,tilapia,panga.. w/e you feel like. I used frozen cod fillets which I breaded in flour,egg and breadcrumbs while frozen..and froze them like that.Then You have breaded fish,ready to go in the oven at your conveniance..no defrosting or breading needed anymore.

For 2 portions you will need:

750 g of frozen fries

2 cod fillets (previously breaded)

5-6 gurkins

1 small onion

Fresh or dried dill

Sour cream

Low fat mayo

Salt,pepper.

Once You have your fish done…and its waiting in the oven,you can cook it straight from frozen-in a really hot oven.I take a large baking tray,put my frozen,breaded fish in the middle and drop fries around it in a single layer.No extra oil needed,I just bake it in a preheated oven, 225C fan, for about 35min..in that time the fries are crunchy and the fish is crispy on the outside,cooked through inside and just delicious.

Also,when the fish is baking-I make the tartar sauce by simply throwing gurkins and the onion into a small food processor,for a fine dice.You can do it by hand ofcourse;-)

I chop them finely,before placing the mix in the bowl,seasoning with salt,pepper,adding dill,2 tbsp of mayo, 2 tbsp of sour cream.I mix well and then add about 2-3 tsp of the vinegar from the gurkin jar.

I serve it really simply,with a parsley leaf for decoration..tartar sauce in a nice little dish.Simplicity at its finest..just sprinkling some salt over the fries and the fish..a lemon wedge would be nice too 😉

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Enjoy and get cooking! Just because it looks like fast food and tastes 100times better..doesn’t mean it has to be really unheatlhy or complicated 😉

Passion fruit cheesecake

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I think mostly everyone likes cheesecake. Hot,cold,creamy,fresh,fruity or rich..there’s a version for just about anyone.

This one was a true act of improvisation. Normally I like a baked cheesecake, but I wanted something impressive,sweet,creamy and fast..so I made this cold style version out of all the stuff I had home. It was really nice and simple (delicious too obviously) so I decided to share it here with you.

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For 3 cheesecakes you will need:

200g of cream cheese

50ml of double whisking cream

6 passion fruit (3 for jelly topping, 3 for serving decoration)

Vanilla sugar or vanilla extract

Sugar to taste

2-3 tsp of powder gelatine (or whatever other type you like to use)

2-3 tbsp of butter

Graham crackers for the bottom

Lemon juice

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  • My gelatine needs soaking,so I soaked it in a tiny bit of water before melting it.
  • I scooped out 3 passion fruit into a small pan,added lemon juice and sugar and brought up to a boil.I then added 1 tsp of soaked gelatine powder,turned the gas off and mixed it through until well combined and melted.I set the mixture aside to cool down.
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  • In the meantime I melted the butter , placed my graham crackers (about 4-5 per person) in a food processor and blitzed them with the warm butter until fine crumbs.
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  • I use metal rings for my cheesecake but I also made one in a tea cup, just to show you that you don’t have to have metal rings to make them 😉

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  • The last stage of preparing the cheesecake was mixing (by hand) my cream cheese at room temperature,sugar,vanilla extract and cream.When it was well combined I’ve added the rest of soaked gelatine which I heated up gently in a table spoon of water and let it cool slightly. Mix it very well through the cheese mix and then you’re done!
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  • Now, for the assembly: I placed a portion of the cracker bottom in the rings and in the cup,as seen in the pictures.A portion of the cheese mixture on top , then topped it off with the passion fruit jelly (room temp.)Now all you need to do is put it in the fridge for 1-2hours max and serve it with some fresh passion fruit and you’re done!
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  • And here is the finished product:
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TIP: passion fruit pulp is very seedy and crunchy.I like that and I think it just looks better with the dark specks..You can strain the pulp though and have a clear,yellow jelly instead.

Enjoy!