Savory Saturday: Tongan Cuisine

Wow – there are some interesting Tongan recipes online. A pattern I saw emerging was the use of coconuts in absolutely everything, and a ton of raw fish recipes.

I don’t think I would attempt any raw food dishes, I’ll save it for the experts.

This recipe really sounded quite interesting and unique. So let’s try this experiment:

Cassava Balls


Ingredients:

2 cups grated cassava
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 tsp freshly, chopped herbs
1 egg
1/4 cup cooking oil
Cooking Instructions:
Mix together the grated cassava, onion and herbs. Lightly beat the egg. Add to the cassava mixture and mix well to form a smooth mixture. Form mixture into small balls.Lightly fry the cassava balls in cooking oil until golden brown. A finely chopped fresh chilli or clove of garlic can be used instead of the herbs.

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Savory Saturday – Jolly ol’ England

I am having flashbacks of some English food I was “forced” to eat growing up. One included Shepherd’s Pie and I remember absolutely haaaating it! But now I feel like my tastebuds have ‘grown-up’ and that I should give this traditional English dish another try.

Wish me luck:

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables – chopped carrots, corn, peas
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

Method

1 Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).

2 While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan.

3 Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.

4 Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper. Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist.

5 Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, season to taste.

6 Place beef and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.

7 Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.

Yield: Serves four.

 

Enjoy!!

Savory Saturday – Bredie

Welcome to South African cuisine – this sounds delicious and I cannot wait to try it out!

Bredie/South African Lamb Stew

Bredies are simple, traditional South African mutton stews in the Cape Malay tradition. The most popular are green bean bredie, tomato bredie and cabbage bredie. A basic bredie recipe is listed here, with the more common variations below. (Tip: A bredie will always taste better served the day after it is made.)

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Stewing mutton or lamb, cut into cubes — 1 1/2 pounds
  • Oil — 3 tablespoons
  • Onion, chopped — 1
  • Seasonings (see variations) — to taste
  • Water or white wine — 1/2 cup
  • Vegetables (see variations) — 1 pound
  • Potatoes, cubed — 3
  • Salt and pepper — to taste

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high flame. Add the mutton or lamb in batches and brown well. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the onion and desired seasonings to the pot and saute until the onions are cooked down and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add back the browned meat and pour in the water or wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to very low, cover tightly, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Stir in the desired vegetables, potatoes, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium and return to a boil. The reduce heat to low again, cover and simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Adjust seasoning and serve with rice or slices of hearty bread.

Back to the grind

Well, March Break is now over and it’s time to get back into the classroom and teach like there is no tomorrow…

Stuffed chicken with goat cheese

Unfortunately I did not have an opportunity to travel as my bank account is holding on to my money until the summer, but I did have a nice relaxing time in Toronto.

Aside from wandering around the city as the gorgeous weather dictated us to partake in, one of the other main forms of entertainment over the past 2 weeks, my boyfriend and I experimented with our culinary skills in the kitchen.

Let’s see – what did we make:

1. Fish tacos (with spicy basa fish) (boy)

2. Greek stew (me)

3. Mussels with spicy tomato sauce (we like spice!) (boy)

4. Stuffed portabello mushroom caps with roasted rosemary garlic potato fingers (me)

5. Stuffed chicken with goat cheese and asparagus on a bed of garlic kale (me)

6. Homemade deep dish pizza (from scratch – all of it!) (boy) – we had this twice, as it was – in my opinion – as good as Giordano’s in Chicago

7. Scotch Pie (me)

8. Seafood pasta with garlic bread (boy)

9. Australian style mussels (me)

10. Carolina style ribs with cornbread, corn and green beans (boy)

11. Seasoned flank steak fatijas with homemade pico de gallo and guacamole (boy)

The other thing I did a lot of over the break was WORK OUT. Much needed after a few heavy meals!