Monthly Mystery Munchies #22: Rugelach

rugelach-cooked-1Oh yeah! Pastry filled with peanut butter and chocolate chips, anyone? My hand bolts up! Rugelach – this month’s recipe, is a popular treat in Israel, and apparently America is enthusiastic about it too. Can’t say I blame them! This traditionally Jewish delight was usually reserved for special occasions such as Hanukkah, but it’s become more popular and now it’s made for any occasion. I’m hosting a dear friend’s birthday shindig this month, for 20 people, and I wanted to find something interesting and plentiful to feed the masses. I found this, and I’m hooked! Speaking of hooked, Ann made Bodhi (Fig) Pudding in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Well, I for one heart this recipe! Ann, like me, doesn’t like OTT V Day vibes, so I think making a fig-based dessert is the perfect break from the traditional chocolate treats. I feel ya, Ann!

rugelach-circle-2

Flaky pastry smothered in peanut butter, topped with chocolate chips, rolled up and baked in the oven, literally melts in your mouth. This is a fitting recipe for this month’s theme – a dish that’s derived from a different culture for special occasions. Ann was, as always, down with this. Aah, I love her enthusiasm! No matter what the theme, she is always up for the challenge. Check out her take on this, and prepare to be wowed!

rugelach-raw-rolls-1

Rugelach

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Supplies:

2 sticks/1 cup/230g cold salted butter*, cubed
230g/8 oz cold cream cheese
¼ sour cream
2 cups flour + 4 tablespoons for sprinkling on surface
* You can use unsalted butter, just add ¼ teaspoon salt

1 egg for brushing

For The Filling:

1 cup melted smooth peanut butter divided into ¼
½ cup dark chocolate chips divided into ¼

Making It Happen:

In a food processor, add the flour, butter, cream cheese and sour cream. Pulse until the dough is crumbly and coming away from the sides. Do not over-process.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour onto a clean surface and form a rough ball with the dough. Divide it into four pieces, forming a ball for each, cover in cling film and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.

Again, sprinkle flour onto a work surface and sprinkle a bit onto your rolling pin.
Roll the dough from the center out, forming a circle, and until the dough is about 1/8inch thick.
Take a 9 inch cake pan, place it hollow side down onto the dough, and cut the edges off to form a neat circle.

Heat the peanut butter in the microwave until runny, and, starting from the centre, spread it over the dough until it’s about 1 inch from the outer side. Sprinkle choc chips over the peanut butter.
Using a shark knife, halve the circle. Halve it again, and continue until it’s cut into eight triangles. It will look like a pizza. Yum.
Starting from the outer egde, roll each triangle up and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough balls.
Heat your oven to 190°C (375°F). Remove the chilled rugelach from the fridge. Place parchment paper on a baking tray, lay your rugelach down and brush with egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Your can refrigerate this for several days, and freeze it too.

 

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Crazy About… Greek Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Greek peppers 1 2Getting stuffed has never tasted this good! ‘Crazy About…’ is my new weekly recipe that’s easy, fun, and delicious (oh, and it looks pretty too!). Many of these recipes are versatile and can be used as starters, sides, or mains. The Husband and I have been on a health mission for the past couple of months, and I’ve had an enormous amount of fun trying out new, fun, and healthy recipes that I’m excited to share!

First up is Greek stuffed peppers. This Mediterranean dish can be served as a main dish – it has everything you need, from veggies, healthy fat in the form of olive oil, and protein provided by quinoa. If you’re doing a multi-course meal, this can be a starter or a side, too. See? Versatility! Let’s get stuffed…

Greek Stuffed Peppers

  • Difficulty: easy
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Supplies:

Stuffed Greek peppers 7 2250g mixed white & portabellini mushrooms, sliced
6 large peppers, assorted
2 cups shredded spinach
1 cup pitted olives
5 basil leaves, shredded
1 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
⅓ cup quinoa
⅔cup low sodium veg stock
80g crumbled feta
1 teaspoon oregano
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Making it happen:

Stuffed Greek peppers 6 21. In a large pan on medium heat, fry the mushrooms and garlic in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Then, slice the olives into halves and add them to the pan along with the spinach, basil, oregano and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes.

 

Stuffed Greek peppers 5 22. Add the quinoa and veg stock, bring to a boil and simmer for roughly 12-15 minutes, per package instructions, until cooked.

 

 

 

Stuffed Greek peppers 3 23. Cut the peppers in half and scrape out the seeds. Grill in the oven on 200°C for 3 minutes per side. Turn the heat to 180°C. When the quinoa has finished cooking, season with salt and pepper, crumble the feta and spoon into hollowed peppers.

 

Stuffed Greek peppers 2 34. Place the peppers in a roasting dish and bake at 180°C for 15 – 20 minutes.

Crispy Cheese Potato Bake with Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms

Crispy Cheddar Veggie Bake 8What’s better than cheese? Crispy cheese. Yes, please and thanks in advance. This dish is quick and easy to prepare and deliciously tasty. Creamy potatoes, Brussels sprouts and mushrooms topped with bubbling cheddar, it requires no cheese sauce. The onion soup powder, when combined with the cream, thickens perfectly in the oven, leaving you with perfectly cooked veggies smothered in crispy melted cheese.

Crispy Cheese Potato Bake with Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Supplies:

Crispy Cheddar Veggie Bake 14-5 potatoes, thinly sliced
300g Brussels sprouts, par-cooked and halved
200g chopped mushrooms
60g white onion soup powder
1 cup cream
300g grated cheddar
Paprika
Non-stick spray

Making it happen:

Crispy Cheddar Veggie Bake 31. Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Turn the heat down to 180°C (350°F) as soon as you put the dish in. Spray a deep casserole dish with non-stick spray. Par-cook the Brussels sprouts until they’re just tender.
Thinly slice the potatoes and place half of the potatoes across the casserole dish. Place half of the mushrooms and Brussels on top of the potatoes.

Crispy Cheddar Veggie Bake 52. Sprinkle half the packet of soup powder over the veggies and sprinkle paprika evenly over the soup powder. Put half the cheddar evenly on top. Repeat.

 

 

Crispy Cheddar Veggie Bake 73. Pour the cream evenly over the dish and bake for 45 minutes until the cheese is crispy.

 

 

 

Crispy Cheddar Veggie Bake 10 1If you’re not into crispy cheese (say it ain’t so), cook for 30 minutes. If you are…

<— This.

 

Marinated Baked Pork Chops

I love a good marinade, I really do. What makes this recipe so inviting is that you can prep the pork chops the night before, or the morning of, leave them to marinate in this delicious, tangy and sweet sauce, and pop them out of the fridge when you’re ready to cook. No standing over the hob frying them; whip them out of the fridge, plonk them in the oven and you’re done. They are so tender and juicy, not a hint of dryness, and the taste… oh man, the flavours.

Marinated baked pork chops

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Marinated pork chops ingredientsSupplies:

  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (obsessed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (live for)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 pork loin chops, fat trimmed
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Making it happen:

Marinated pork chops 2 31. Mix all ingredients. In a baking dish, lay your pork chops flat and coat in the marinade on both sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

 

 

Marinated pork chops 3 22. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Bake the chops for 20 – 25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies. Done.

 

Baked Crumbed Potato Balls

Crumbed potato balls 5 2I love potatoes. Everyone does. Even if they’re on a health kick and say they prefer cauliflower mash (shudder). They’re lying or in denial. The Husband is obsessed with mashed potatoes. I, on the other hand, prefer them roasted. I get bored of plain ol’ mash. There’s nothing wrong with it but I enjoy variety. Enter this recipe. Because the potatoes aren’t enough (when are they ever not enough?) I added cheese, formed balls and crumbed. Clearly that still wasn’t good enough so I drizzled butter over them and baked. I was pressed for time and didn’t fancy the idea of standing in the kitchen frying them while my guests were at the dinner table so I baked them. Try this. It’s easy, creamy, crispy and cheesy.

Baked Crumbed Potato Balls

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients for the mashed potatoes:
2kg potatoes, peeled and boiled
100g butter
⅓ cup milk
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Ingredients for the potato balls:
2kg mashed potatoes (see mash recipe below)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 eggs
75ml milk
100g corn flake crumbs
100g melted butter

Directions for the mash: 

Peel and boil the potatoes until soft, about 20 minutes in the microwave. Drain and mash. Add the butter and stir. Pour in the milk and sour cream, mix well and mash again. Sprinkle in the nutmeg, salt and black pepper. Give it one last good stir. It’s easier to work with the mash if it’s cold, so refrigerate it for an hour.

Directions for the potato balls:

Crumbed potato balls 1 21. Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F). Once the mash has cooled, add the grated cheese and mix well, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Put two heaped tablespoons of mash in your hand and form into balls.

 

Crumbed potato balls 3 22. Mix the eggs in a bowl and add the milk. Stir to combine. Put the bread crumbs in a separate dish. Dip the potato balls into the egg mixture on all sides and roll in the bread crumbs, covering the whole ball. Repeat until you’ve used up all of the mash.

 

 

Crumbed potato balls 4 23. Put the balls into a large dish, heat the butter and drizzle over them. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and serve fresh and hot. No one likes cold balls.

 

Easy Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts

These days I’m all about that baste, about that baste. Yes I did. If you have read my previous post, you will know that I’m trying to find healthier chicken breast recipes that are both tasty and interesting to cook. Enter honey mustard baste. The Husband has a penchant for hot mustard. Dude has it with everything. I, on the other hand, am more of a wholegrain kinda gal, so why not use both? Indeed, that’s exactly what I did and it was much yumminess. This recipe is easy and it takes less than three minutes to mix all the ingredients. I marinated the chicken for a couple of hours, turning it once, but if you’re pressed for time, try to marinade it for half an hour. I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts but you can use skin-on, bone-in breasts. Just remember this will take a few extra minutes to cook.

 

Honey mustard chicken 51 tablespoon hot mustard
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chilli sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon liquid chicken stock (undiluted)

 

 

 

Honey mustard chicken 3 (2)Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Put the chicken breasts in a dish and pour the marinade over, turning the chicken to make sure it’s fully coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour to two hours, turning the chicken once.

 

 

 

Honey mustard chicken 4 (2)

Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Bake the chicken for 25 – 30 minutes, depending on your oven. See? It’s that easy! Enjoy!

 

 

Herbed Citrus Chicken

I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken breasts, my version of homemade fast food, because let’s be honest, plain boneless, skinless chicken breasts are snoozeville. The cooking is boring and the taste is bland. I had a couple of lemons in the fridge along with two staples I am never without, ginger and garlic, and I have rosemary growing in the garden. A quick scan in my pantry cupboard yielded an orange, olive oil and honey. I combined these ingredients and marinated the chicken for a few hours and when it came out if the oven, it was so. Very. Tender. I love the versatility of chicken breasts and this recipe can work one of two ways: You can cool and shred them and put them in a salad or serve them warm with veggies – both very healthy options. Marinade them for at least half an hour and you will have juicy, tender, soft breasts.

Prep time: 5 minutes     Marinade time: >30 mins     Cook time: 30 minutes

Citrus chicken 1

500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 lemons – 1 juiced and 1 sliced
2 oranges – 1 juiced and 1 sliced
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated (I use a microplane grater)
1 knob ginger, about 1 inch, peeled and grated (again, microplane grater)
1 sprig rosemary
Cracked sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

Citrus chicken 2 (2)

Juice one lemon and one orange and pour the juices into a bowl. Stir in the honey and olive oil until thoroughly combined. Grate the garlic and ginger and stir into the citrus juice mixture and add the rosemary. Crack some salt (I used about half a teaspoon) and black pepper into the juice.

 

 

 

Citrus chicken 3.3 (2)Slice the remaining lemon and orange. Place the chicken breasts into a dish and pour the herby citrus marinade over them. Position the citrus slices between the chicken breasts, cover and marinade in the fridge for at least half an hour. Bake at 200°C (400°F) for 30 minutes.