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Entries in simply-delicious.co.za (8)

Monday
Mar122012

Whole-wheat Couscous salad with haloumi & roasted sweet potato

From simply-delicious.co.za and mediterranean delicacies series

This week has left me quite drained if I’m allowed to be honest. Not only did I have a few very big projects to do, I also had clients to please and a mountain of admin to work through. This has left me with very little time to eat lunch, which has never been one of my ‘main priority’ meals. The fact that I have to press pause on my day to rustle together something nutritious and somewhat appetising is reason enough alone to leave me unenthusiastic. Add to that the full and tired feeling I get after I eat some days and I have enough reason to skip this meal altogether. Although, I know it’s not healthy to do this so I’ve been aiming to make myself easy lunches that pack flavour and nutrients and also take minutes to assemble while leaving me with energy to carry on with the rest of my day.

This couscous salad does just that. When Mediterranean Delicacies sent me a few packs of their Haloumi I knew I wanted to incorporate the chewy, squeaky and delicious cheese in a salad of some sorts. Lentils and mixed greens were an option but the whole-grain couscous in my pantry was begging to be used so I decided to combine the haloumi (which I had fried in a tiny bit of olive oil) with roasted orange sweet potato (one of my new favourites as we’ve only been getting white sweet potatoes thus far) and a zesty, spicy chilli dressing. My best friend joined me for lunch when I made this and she could not stop mmming and aaah-ing whilst eating which is always a good sign.

Serves 4

2 medium orange sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
200g (7.05 ounces) whole-wheat couscous
hot chicken stock (approximately 250ml (8.45 fluid ounces)-300ml (10.14 fluid ounces))
200g (7.05 ounces) Mediterranean Delicacies Haloumi, cubed
1/2 cup oil, for frying
fresh rocket
for the chilli dressing
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp salt

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°c and grease a small roasting tray.
  2. Toss the cubed sweet potato with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread over the roasting tray and place in the oven. Allow to roast for 15-20 minutes keeping an eye on them as the sweet potato tends to burn rather quickly. You want it to be cooked all the way through and have lightly charred edges.
  3. In the meanwhile, place the couscous in a bowl and cover with the chicken stock. You want the couscous to be just covered. Cover the bowl with a plate or clingwrap and allow to sit for 10 minutes until all the chicken stock has been absorbed.
  4. Fry the haloumi in1/2 cup oil until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan and add to the bowl with the couscous.
  5. When the sweet potato is cooked, toss into the bowl as well followed by the fresh rocket.
  6. To make the dressing, simply combine all the ingredients and mix well. Pour over the salad and toss to coat.
  7. Serve immediately.

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Wednesday
Mar072012

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

From simply-delicious.co.za and mediterranean delicacies series

If I could only choose one breakfast to eat for the rest of my life, it would be Eggs Benedict. Sure, I wouldn’t be able to move after a while as the hollandaise alone is enough to make me gain weight by just looking at it, but I almost don’t mind. There is just something about the silky, butteriness of hollandaise that makes up for the fact that it’s so fattening. When I eat hollandaise I feel very much like Julie Powell in Julie&Julia when she says eating an egg is like eating white sauce. It has that same velvety texture and delicate flavour, and that is exactly what hollandaise is to me. The fact that I can whip it up within a minute with my hand blender also adds to it’s appeal.

When Mediterranean Delicacies sent me a pack of their smoked salmon, I was excited to use it as smoked salmon is one of my all-time favourite ingredients. I instantly thought of about 10 different ways I could showcase the salmon but wanted to stick to something classic and simple. I first thought of doing a traditional bagel & lox but settled on the Eggs Benedict simply because I wanted a reason to make it again. The smoked salmon worked perfectly with the lemony-buttery hollandaise and the soft poached eggs. I decided to toast the English muffins to add some texture and also added extra lemon to the hollandaise to really cut through the richness of the salmon. This is a stunning breakfast that is sure to impress your guests!

Serves 4

  • 4 English muffins, halved and toasted
  • 8 eggs, poached or fried (I often cook eggs by poach-frying them. I break the eggs into a hot pan and as soon as the whites are slightly set I add boiling water. The end result is a egg that has the same, soft texture as poached eggs but it’s much easier to do.)
  • 200g (7.05 ounces) Mediterranean Delicacies Smoked Salmon
  • for the hollandaise
  • 3 extra-large, egg yolks
  • 150g (5.29 ounces) butter, melted
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt to taste (if the butter is salted you will probably won’t need to season the sauce)

 Directions

  1. Top the toasted English muffins with the smoked salmon ribbons.
  2. Top the smoked salmon with the poached eggs.
  3. To make the hollandaise, place the egg yolks and lemon juice in a tall container and blend with your hand blender.
  4. Whilst blending, slowly drizzle the melted butter into the egg mixture while moving the blender up and down. Continue blending until all the butter has been incorporated and the sauce is thick and glossy. Check the seasoning and adjust.
  5. Spoon the hollandaise over the poached eggs and serve.

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Friday
Mar022012

Delicious Recipes with Mediterranean Delicacies Products

Mediterranean Delicacies, the market leader in the production of dips and specialized deli products, is now thriving in the online community, as well.

We offer a taste of the Mediterranean through our delicious products like hummus, an endless variety of olives and all other manner of Mediterranean food.

Some of the most respected food bloggers in the country, Simply-Delicious and Drizzle and Dip, have delivered a stunning series of Mediterranean-style cuisine created using their choice ingredients from Mediterranean Delicacies.

“As a massive fan of hummus I was very intrigued about the Mediterranean Delicacies avo-hummus variant and am so pleased I finally got to try it,” says Cape Town-based food stylist Samantha Linsell on her Drizzle and Dip blog about roasted aubergine wedges with hummus. “It’s much creamier than hummus with a delicate avocado taste that marries so well with the chickpeas and the tahini.”

Over on the Simply Delicious blog site, South African cooking contributor Alida Ryder said, “The Mediterranean Delicacies tzatziki is thick, rich and packed full of flavour. I love that the cucumber is kept chunky and that the garlic flavour is prominent yet not overbearing.”

With Mediterranean Delicacies being one of the top producers and suppliers of olives to the South African market, Ryder also includes several recipes on her blog that incorporate Kalamata olives.

“The Mediterranean Delicacies olives are salty and flavourful. What makes them different to other olives is that there is more than just ‘olive flavour’ going on there. It truly tastes like Greece in a bite, and this is because of the garlic, herbs and spices they add to the brine the olives are soaked in,” said Ryder.

Mediterranean Delicacies now enjoys the online social support of an active Facebook community.

“Nothing beats their hummus — okay, maybe their jalapeno hummus does,” says one Facebook fan.

Customers of Mediterranean Delicacies can access the company’s Facebook page to check out hundreds of recommendations, recipes and for a chance to enter our competitions.

All From the Drizzle and Dip and Mediterranean Delicacies Series

All From simply-delicious.co.za and mediterranean delicacies series

Monday
Feb272012

Pork meatballs with Jalapeño dip & mini pita breads

simply-delicious.co.za

My husband and I have been together for 9 years this year. 9 years!! I almost cannot believe it. But believe I must because he’s sitting right next to me, working away and I could not be happier. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start gushing about how amazing he is. I’m not going to gush about how he’s a much better parent than me, or that he will do anything (and I mean anything) for me, or how he accepts me with all my issues and for a lack of a better word, CRAP! Oh gosh, there I went, gushing away. But there is a reason for this.

If you’ve cooked for a man for 9 years, he kind of becomes used to your food. Chris now knows that I love using spices, garlic, lemon and chillies in food so he knows my food is flavourful. He knows that I like to make what I like to call ‘social food’. Food that you pick at and assemble as you go. So when I decided to make some meatballs out of pork sausages and serve them with Mediterranean Delicacies Jalapeño dip and mini pita breads a few nights ago, I never knew he would react the way he did. He took one bite and declared “this must be the best thing I’ve ever eaten” which both upset and delighted me. At least the best thing he’s ever eaten was cooked by me but good grief! I put almost no effort into this dish. He didn’t choose the magnitude of risottos I’ve cooked and taken my time over, or the pies and curries that I love so much, he chose the simplest most idiot-proof meal of the last 9 years. Who woulda thunk it?

The charm of this meal is that it really and truly is idiot-proof. My brother could do it…and that’s saying a lot because my brother has only mastered toasted sarmies and 2-minute noodles thus far. I used really good quality pork sausages from my butcher which I snipped the ends off and squeezed the meat from the casings. This is such a quick and easy way to get really delicious meatballs as you don’t have to do anything with the mixture, it’s already seasoned for you. I formed little meatballs and placed them on a baking paper lined sheet and baked them until they were golden brown and cooked through. I wanted something spicy and sweet to go with the salty pork and knew that the Mediterranean Delicacies Jalapeño dip would be just perfect. It’s got the right amount of spice to leave your mouth tingling without blowing your head off and has a lovely sweetness to it. I served a crunchy salad of julienned vegetables along with the meatballs, pita breads and jalapeño dip and it was a really lovely, easy meal. Perfect for week night entertaining!

Serves 6

500g (17.64 ounces) pork sausages, meat removed from casings
Mediterranean Delicacies Jalapeño dip, to serve
mini pita-breads, to serve
crunchy salad, to serve

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
  2. Form mini meatballs from the pork sausage meat and place on a baking paper-lined baking sheet.
  3. Place in the pre-heated oven and allow to cook until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Serve the meatballs with the jalapeño dip, pita breads and salad.
Wednesday
Feb222012

Chicken liver Pâté with caramelised onions and easy melba toast

From simply-delicious.co.za and mediterranean delicacies series

I could eat chicken liver pâté day in and day out. I know there are a lot of people who don’t eat chicken livers but they have no idea what they are missing out on. There is nothing like hot toast topped with a generous smear of chicken liver pâté!

When I saw that Mediterranean Delicacies has a chicken liver pâté in their range I wasn’t too excited about it. After all, my mom used to make the best chicken liver pâté I’ve ever tasted and I am lucky enough to have her recipe. Generally shop-bought chicken liver pâté leaves much to be desired and never seems to get it quite right. The one thing I always look for with shop-bought chicken liver pâté is whether the pâté has a lovely pinkish colour along with the expected brown. That’s an indication whether or not the chicken livers have been cooked to death before being turned into the pâté or not. Obviously, you want the chicken livers to have been cooked through but you also want them to be left juicy so that they don’t dry out and become bland.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was indeed what MD’s chicken liver pâté looked like. The pâté was lovely and smooth and the flavour was truly delicious. Subtly seasoned and so allowing the chicken livers to be the star. I decided to showcase the chicken liver pâté in a simple way (and one of my favourite ways of eating it). I made some simple melba toast and caramelised onions and it could not have been easier. This is just perfect as part of a picnic lunch or as a do-it-yourself kind of canapé with drinks.

simply-delicious.co.za

For the caramelised onions
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  1. In a frying pan, fry the onions in the olive oil until soft and starting to brown (approximately 5-7 minutes).
  2. Add the brown sugar and water and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Lower the heat and allow the onions to cook in the sugar and water for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is thick and it looks sticky.
  4. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and allow to cool before serving.

For the melba toast
4 slices white bread, crusts removed

  1. Pre-heat the grill in your oven to hot.
  2. Place the crustless slices of bread on a breadboard in front of you and using a rolling pin, roll the slices of bread into thin squares.
  3. Cut each square diagonally in half so you are left with 2 triangles.
  4. Place the triangles on a wire rack and place in the oven. Keep an eye on them as they will burn easily.
  5. Allow to brown on both sides and remove. Allow to cool before serving with the caramelised onions and Mediterranean Delicacies chicken liver pâté.

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