Wednesday 28 May 2014

Curried Cauliflower and Spinach

Here is a classic and very versatile recipe for cauliflower and spinach in a lightly-curried sauce base.

This can be served as a starter, be used as a base for a soup or it can be served as an accompaniment or as a vegetarian main course in and of itself.

Curried Cauliflower and Spinach

Serves: 4
Curried Cauliflower and Spinach: A dish of cauliflower and spinach in a lightly-curried vegetable stock base. A versatile dish that can be served as a starter, an accompaniment or even as a vegetarian main course.


1 medium-sized cauliflower, broken into small florets
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, halved and sliced
1 green chilli, sliced
450g (1 lb) spinach, washed
6 tbsp vegetable stock
1 tbsp coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
sprigs of coriander (cilantro), to garnish


Heat the oil in a deep flame-proof casserole dish. Add the mustard seeds and fry, stirring frequently, until the seeds begin to pop.

At this point stir in the spices, garlic, onion and chilli. Continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Now add the cauliflower florets along with the spinach, vegetable stock, coriander leaves and seasonings. Cover and cook over gentle heat for about 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.

Uncover the dish and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for about 1 minute, or until the pan juices have thickened.

Garnish with coriander sprigs and serve immediately, either as an accompaniment or as a vegetarian dish accompanied by rice.

For hundreds more curry and curry-based recipes from around the world, why not visit the Celtnet curry and curry-based recipes pages?

Friday 23 May 2014

Classic Pork Kebabs Recipe

Living in South Africa now, as I do, braai (South African barbecue) is a national institution. Being a Celt, I like pork, but my wife is not really fond of the meat, finding it too fatty.

So far, only Chinese-style red-cooked pork has really met with her satisfaction. So this simple barbecue recipe was my attempt at making my wife more fond of pork... and it really worked!!!

Classic Pork Kebabs

Serves: 8
Classic Pork Kebabs: Traditional pork, bell pepper and red onion kebabs, marinated in an Asian-style sauce before being cooked over hot coals on a barbecue (grill).


300g (2/3 lb) pork fillet, cubed
2 green bell peppers, cut into squares
2 red bell peppers, cut into squares
2 red onions, halved and cut into wedges

For the Marinade:

1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tsp Chinese five-spice
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp Dijon mustard


Cut the pork into 24 cubes about 3cm in size. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients, add the pork and toss to coat. Set aside to marinade in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning occasionally to ensure that the pork is evenly coated.

If using bamboo skewers, soak them in a bowl of water for 1 hour before use.

Drain the pork (reserve the marinade). Thread the pork onto the skewers (three pieces on each), alternating with bell pepper pieces or red onion wedges.

Brush the kebabs with any leftover marinade then place on a barbecue over hot coals. Cook for about 25 minutes, turning frequently and brushing with leftover marinade as you do so.

Ensure that the pork is thoroughly cooked through before serving. Accompany with rice and a green salad.

For even more barbecue/grilling/braai recipes, please visit the Celtnet Barbecue and Grilling recipes pages.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Potato and Sausage Pan-fry Recipe

Today's recipe is a chefy twist on a traditional supper favourite — sausages and potatoes cooked together. This is a quick and hearty dish, packed full of flavour. But the addition of vegetables makes it a little healthier than the original on which its based.

Wine is substituted for the original beer and the use of fresh herbs leads the sauce a freshness that really lifts the flavour. This, I guarantee, will become a family supper favourite.

Potato and Sausage Pan-fry

Serves: 4
Potato and Sausage Pan-fry: A supper dish of sausages and potatoes cooked together in a pan that's finished with a wine-based sauce and fresh herbs


675g (1 1/2 lbs) waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp butter
8 large herby sausages
4 smoked bacon rashers (slices)
1 onion, quartered
1 courgette (zucchini), sliced
150ml (2/3 cup) dry white wine
300ml (1 1/4 cups) vegetable stock
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp mixed fresh herbs, chopped
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
fresh herbs, chopped, to garnish


Bring a pan of water to  a boil, add the potato cubes and cook for 10 minutes, until tender. Drain thoroughly then set aside.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the herby sausages and cook for 5 minutes, turning them frequently to ensure that they cook evenly all over.

Now add the bacon rashers along with the onion, courgette (zucchini) slices and potatoes to the pan. Continue cooking the mixture for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently and turning the sausages from time to time.

Pour in the white wine along with the stock and Worcestershire sauce. Scatter over the mixed herbs and stir in to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper then continue cooking the mixture over gentle heat for 10 minutes more.

Adjust the seasonings to taste then divide the mixture between warmed serving plates. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs and serve immediately.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Crustless Chocolate Tart Recipe

This is one for all the chocaholics out there. A crustless chocolate tart served as a dessert with rich, cream-based mocha (chocolate and coffee) sauce.

A recipe for when you're feeling indulgent or when you just need a hit of chocolate to lift your spirits.

Crustless Chocolate Tart

Serves: 6
Crustless Chocolate Tart: Deesert chocolate tart, baked without a crust, served with an indulgent mocha sauce.


500ml (2 cups) milk
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tsp lemon zest, sliced into thin strips
1 tsp orange zest, sliced into thin strips
30g (2 tbsp + 1 tsp) butter
60g (1/2 cup) plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Mocha Sauce:

250g (9 1/4 oz) chocolate, chopped
125g (1/2 cup) butter
160ml (2/3 cup) cream
65g (1/3 cup) soft brown sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee powder


Combine the milk, cinnamon, zests and butter in a pan and bring to a boil. Take off the heat, cover and set aside to infuse for 15 minutes. After this time strain the milk into a bowl (discard the cinnamon and zests).

Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the cocoa, baking powder and sugar. Combine the milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract in a jug. Gradually beat the milk into the flour mix until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and set on the heat.

Continue heating, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches boiling point. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes more then take off the heat and set aside to cool.

Add the egg whites to a clean and dry bowl and using an electric whisk beat until stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon fold the egg whites into the cocoa mixture then pour into a greased 23cm (9 in) diameter pie plate. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180º (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for 30 minutes, or until set.

In the meantime, prepare the mocha sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a small pan and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has dissolved.

Cut the tart into wedges and serve warm with the mocha sauce and cream.

For hundreds more chocolate-based dishes, why not visit the Celtnet chocolate and chocolate-based recipes page, where you will find recipes from cakes through main courses, to desserts and sauces all using chocolate as one of their main ingredients.

Thursday 15 May 2014

Microwave Coffee House Gâteau Recipe

For those of you who think that you can't really bake with a microwave, here is a traditional coffee-shop cake that's been adapted to be cooked in a microwave.

Yes, that's right, a Genoese-style sponge cake prepared with just a microwave!!

Microwave Coffee House Gâteau

Serves: 6–8
Microwave Coffee House Gâteau: A classic Genoese-style sponge cake with a rich buttercream and walnut frosting that's designed to be cooked quickly in a microwave.


4 eggs
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
100g (1 cup, scant) plain flour
50g (1/4 cup) butter
pinch of salt

For the Filling and Topping:

40g (1/3 cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
150ml (3/5 cup) milk
215g (1 cup, heaped) light brown sugar
350g (1 3/4 cups) butter
65g (1/2 cup) walnuts, finely chopped
thin chocolate wafers, to decorate


Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, add the sugar and whisk with the eggs until the mixture is pale and creamy and has trebled in volume.

Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in your microwave at FULL power for about 60 seconds, or until just melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

Sift together the flour and salt then sprinkle over the egg mixture. Whilst folding gently with a metal spoon add the melted butter in a slow, steady, stream. Continue folding the mixture together until evenly combined, but take care not to over-mix.

Line a 20cm (8 in) diameter soufflé dish (or silicone cake mould) with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and sit a circle of greaseproof (waxed) paper in the base. Turn your batter into this mould then transfer to your microwave. Cook on FULL power for between 3.5 and 4 minutes, depending on your microwave's power,.

Allow the cake to stand for 8 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing and decorating.

For the filling and topping, blend the cornflour (cornstarch) with 8 tbsp of the milk to form a smooth slurry. Mix together the remaining milk in a microwave-proof jug and stir in the coffee and sugar.

Place in your microwave and cook on FULL power for 80 seconds. Add the cornflour and milk blend, whisking to combine, then return to the microwave and cook for 2 minutes at a time, stirring at the end of every 2 minutes, until the mixture is thick. Remove from the microwave and set aside to cool completely.

Cream the butter, then gradually work in the cold coffee mixture, beating well until smooth.

Take 1/3 of this mixture and fold in just under half the walnuts. Slice the cake horizontally into three equal-sized layers and use the coffee-walnut mixture to sandwich the layers together.

Use half the remaining coffee mixture to spread over the top and sides of the cake. Press the remaining walnuts into the sides of the cake, then decorate the sides with the chocolate wafers.

Place the remaining coffee mixture in a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle and pipe swirls on top of the cake.

Slice into wedges and serve.

For hundreds more classic recipes to be cooked in the microwave (all kinds of surprising recipes!) why not visit the Celtnet Microwave Recipes and Microwave cooking pages?

Saturday 10 May 2014

Raspberry Cheesecake in a Glass Recipe

Here is a great dessert for a dinner party, individual raspberry cheesecakes served in a glass. They can be made the day before, and are great if you are in a hurry or pressed for time.

As these cheesecakes are based on pre-made ingredients and do not require baking they are also quick and simple to make, but look fantastic when you serve them.

Perfect for the harried host or hostess.

Raspberry Cheesecake in a Glass

Serves: 6
Raspberry Cheesecake in a Glass: Classic individual servings of amaretti biscuits topped with raspberries, mascarpone cheese and cream cheese and finished with raspberries that are simple to make, can be prepared the day before and are great for a dinner party.


250g (9 oz) fresh raspberries
300g (2/3 lb) full-fat cream cheese
250g (9 oz) mascarpone cheese
175ml (3/4 cup) double cream
100g (4 oz) icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
3 tbsp Pimm's
juice of 1 orange
20 Amaretti biscuits


In a bowl, mix half the raspberries with a splash of water then stir in icing sugar to taste. Purée by passing through a sieve then set aside.

Whisk together the cream cheese with the mascarpone cheese, double cream, icing sugar, vanilla, Pimm's and orange juice until just smooth (do not over-beat or it will begin to stiffen).

Coarsely crush the biscuits. Reserve 2 tbsp then divide the remainder between 6 dessert glasses. Spoon over the purée then top with most of the remaining whole strawberries (reserve a few for garnish).

Divide the cream cheese mix between the glasses then scatter over the reserved biscuits and garnish with the reserved raspberries.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. These can actually be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator and are great for parties and barbecues.

Allow to warm to room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Marinated Pork with Pepper Recipe

Today I have a classic modern pork recipe for you. I recently cooked this for my wife, who is not really a big fan of pork... and it was an instant hit.

This makes a great dinner dish and also works very well for Valentine's day or any romantic occasion. Even better, it can be made in about an hour and is not difficult to prepare.

Marinated Pork with Pepper

Serves: 4
Marinated Pork with Pepper: Dish of marinated pork cooked in a vegetable stock base with bell peppers... Shown served in a bowl on a bed of rice.


2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tsp English mustard
500g (1 lb) pork fillet
25g (1 oz) butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
150ml (3/5 cup) vegetable stock
1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and sliced (or 1/2 green bell pepper and 1/2 red bell pepper)
75g (3 oz) mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced


Mix together the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, honey and mustard in a bowl. Add the pork and toss to coat and cover in a sauce. Cover the bowl and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large, lidded, frying pan. Add the onion and the pork (drain and reserve the marinade) and cook for about 10 minutes, or until browned.

Add the stock and the reserved marinade then cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through.

Stir in the bell pepper and mushrooms and continue cooking for 3 minutes more, or until the sauce has reduced sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon.

Serve hot on a bed of basmati rice.

Monday 5 May 2014

Lemon Pudding Recipe

After a bit of a hiatus due to a family crisis, I'm back cooking and writing recipes.

Things have been a little stressful of late, and when that happens my cooking tends to return to the classics. Simple but comforting dishes like this tasty steamed lemon pudding.

Lemon Pudding

Serves: 4–6
Classic recipe for a simple steamed pudding made from a simple butter, sugar, egg, flour and milk batter flavoured with vanilla extract and lemon zest


90g (3 oz) butter
65g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp finely-grated lemon zest
120g (1 cup) self-raising flour
60ml (1/4 cup) milk


Using an electric whisk, cream together the butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly to combine after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and the orange zest and beat until combined.

Turn the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Using a metal spoon, fold in the sifted flour alternatively with the milk. Stir the ingredients until just combined and almost smooth.

Brush a 1l pudding basin with melted butter. Line the base with paper then grease the paper. Spoon in the batter and top either with a lid or with a pleated sheet of greaseproof paper. Cove with a double layer of kitchen foil and tie securely with twine.

Set the pudding basin either in a steamer basket or on a trivet in a large pan. Either steam or cook in boiling water for about 60 minutes. During this time, ensure that the pan does not boil dry.

At the end of the cooking time, unwrap the pudding and turn out onto a serving plate. Serve warm with custard, cream or vanilla ice cream.

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